“The way we may be sure that we know Him is to keep His Commandments. Those who say, “I know Him,” but do not keep His Commandments are liars, and the Truth is not in them. But whoever keeps His Word, the love of God is truly perfected in Him.” – 1 John 2:3-5
These are the words of our Lesson at Mass today. We are reminded that Christ is risen, and that He is risen in His Body the Church, and that is ALL of us. By our Baptism, we have been made a part of His Mystical Body, and our vocation in life is to live the message of Christ, Who is alive and desires all to come to Him for salvation. St. John reminds us that if we say we love God, we must follow God, we must do His Will. And what is His Will? John tells us that we keep His Commandments. St. Peter will say to those who hear him speak, “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.” (Acts 3:19) In other passages, he will say, “Repent and be baptized so that your sins might be washed away.” For us, the Easter message in many ways is linked to …prayer, fasting and charity. If our lives are oriented to this, then the natural outflow of our life will be to live and obey the Commandments of God. Jesus was made known to the disciples on the road to Emmaus after they showed Him charity, by constraining Him to come and stay with them because it was getting late. In showing kindness to a stranger, the Lord revealed His presence among them and they became witnesses of His resurrection. In the Gospel lesson from Luke 24:46, Jesus says: “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in His Name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” We always seem to come back to that idea of repentance. And just what is repentance? A turning away from my will and my idea of what is up or down, right or left, good or bad, to listen to the voice of Christ. May God help us as we go through this Easter season to make the risen Christ known where we work, where we live, among our family and friends. How do we do this? By keeping His Commandments. What is the first and greatest Commandment? To love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is like to it: Love your neighbor as yourself.