Rejoice! He is Risen!

    March 31, 2024

    Reverberating beneath the words of every reading for today’s glorious feast is the very human exclamation: “Pinch me! Is it true?” 

    Peter’s words in the first reading lay out the brief history of the apostles with the Christ – the chosen of God, Emmanuel. “Wait! Did we actually walk with him, see his baptism, watch him reach out to the possessed and dispossessed of our land and witness the astounding changes in them? Pinch Me! This is the Christ!”

    There is no other response possible than the ebullient messaging of the Psalm: “Rejoice! This is the DAY the Lord has made!” It’s finally happened. The God we have prayed for through the centuries, waited for, wept over, betrayed and disbelieved, cannot be kept down! Nothing can divert the mercy of God as embodied by Jesus. Rejoice!

    Just when the “pinch me’s” become too much, Paul settles us down in the third reading. “Well, what did you expect? Do not look to what is of earth, but to what is of heaven.” He creates an oasis where we can pause a while to digest all of this overwhelming joy. Even as Jesus lived a hidden life for most of his years, “your life is hidden with Christ in God.” So even if we don’t get it right away, there is time while we align our lives with that of Christ and then we, too, “will appear with him in glory.”

    Finally, we read of our sister, Mary Magdalene. One who has been maligned through history, labeled and judged, only to be freed again – not just by Christ’s resurrection but by contemporary theologians…an apostle to the apostles. We rush with her to the tomb, wrought with anguish over what cannot be understood. He is not there! He does not belong with the dead. What? Pinch me!

    Powerful parallels can be drawn between the work of Catholic Charities and the reality of Christ’s resurrection. The poor have an advocate – One who gathers a team and then puts us to work for those who are often invisible and do not have a voice. They leave our centers with renewed hope in their eyes, and “Pinch me!” on their lips.

    May the wonder of being an instrument in the life-changing work which God brings about through us, be one that we never take for granted. Rejoice! Pinch Me! He is Risen!

    Monique Jacobs is Director of Mission and Identity at Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada & The St. Vincent’s Programs.

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