This Easter time that extends for fifty days and concludes with the great feast of Pentecost is a time to welcome the fruits of the resurrection in our life. The fundamental fruit is the coming of the Spirit who living in us transforms us from the inside, defeats our sins and makes us new in Christ.
During these weeks we listen to the readings of the book of the Acts of the Apostles that are our family history. In this book we find how the Church’s family to which we belong through Baptism responded to this action of the Holy Spirit in them and how while responding to the will of God they were transformed and transformed, healed, and converted many around them.
During Easter, we are called to two fundamental experiences: 1) to experience the encounter with the Resurrected and 2) evangelize and fulfill the mission that the Resurrected has given us through the strength of his Spirit.
We have listened to the gospel stories about how the disciples experienced the encounter with the Resurrected. In the same way we are invited to live this encounter with him. This is a time to bring to our memory and our heart all the occasions and situations in our life in which we have had this personal encounter with Jesus, who loves us, accompanies us, transforms us slowly and gives us the strength to confront life with renovated hope. This is a time to hold the senses engaged to discover the signs of new life in us, in others around us. Let us not look for gigantic signs, but small signs of God’s presence in life that renovates women and men from the inside and invites them to make the world a better place.
This is a time to evangelize, not so much by preaching but through the testimony of our acts. In the Gospels of this season it is clear how we are called to evangelize. The Resurrected has a message for those who meet him: "Peace be with you." In this sense, our mission as disciples of the Resurrected moved by his Spirit is to bring peace to all those who are with us or share life with us. Let us ask ourselves honestly: Am I a peace agent for those who live or work with me? When somebody shares time with me, does he/she goes away with more peace than when we met? As disciples of Jesus we are called to bring peace as He did. Jess gives his disciples a concrete mission, he says to them, receive the Holy Spirit, to those they forgive their sins, they are forgiven. It is our mission then to be instruments of God’s forgiveness that Christ won for us through the sacrifice of the Cross. It is time to forgive; to forgive ourselves and forgive the others, knowing that when we refuse to forgive others not only we are denying them the opportunity to experience God’s forgiveness, but also we are denying the sacrifice of Christ in the cross for us.
Summarizing, this Easter and Pentecost season is a time of joy to live the encounter with the Resurrected and to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us into agents of peace and forgiveness, real disciples of Jesus who build community who leave behind the old woman and man of pride, vengeance, and violence; to be as Christ, women and men of service, love, humility, generosity, forgiveness, peace, and unity.
May the God of life who saved us by the death and resurrection of Christ and lives in us through the Holy Spirit make each one of us true disciples!
Father Ruiz Sierra is parochial vicar at St. Benedict Parish in Canandaigua.