by Ken Rolheiser
Easter and the miracles of life

After a very long and boring sermon the parishioners filed out of the church. One thoughtful person said, "Pastor, today your sermon reminded me of the peace and love of God!" The pastor was thrilled. "No one has ever said anything like that about my preaching before. Tell me why."
 "Well - it reminded me of the Peace of God because it passed all understanding, and the Love of God because it endured forever!"

The enduring love of God is indeed beyond our understanding. Since before we were born God has had a plan to redeem our lives and restore our innocence. Through life’s journey of suffering and pain, God will be with us to shower us with abundant blessings.

“There are two ways to live your life. You can live as if nothing is a miracle, or you can live as if everything is a miracle.” -Albert Einstein. 

Easter’s miracles continue to change lives. The miracle of the birth of Jesus began the New Testament stories of how Jesus touched humanity. Curing the ill, feeding five thousand, and raising the dead are among the thirty-seven miracles recorded in the life of Jesus.

Miracles are not there to spare us the pain and illnesses of daily life, but to fill our journey with the grace to endure them. One miracle of our time shows us this.

Joanne Sotiroff of Woodstock, Illinois, shares the story of her husband’s struggle with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. The journey began in 2015 and lasted until his death in sixteen months. Grace and mercy were evident throughout.

Once when George and Joanne were driving in the car, praying the rosary, George started to cry. He later explained that he had a vision of the Blessed Mother Mary. This led him to do the thirty-three-day consecration to Jesus through Mary.

At one point Joanne could no longer endure the sleep interruptions and challenges of getting George through his day. She asked Jesus how much longer this would go on. His response was, “Can you do it just for today?” God’s grace is sufficient for today.

As George took his last breath his daughter noticed a tear running down his cheek. George had not shed any tears since the first two weeks of his diagnosis, except when Mary appeared to him. After the funeral a friend of Joanne told her she saw Blessed Mary extending a hand to George during his funeral Mass.

Easter is that special celebration when heaven is opened. “The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the city and appeared to many.” (Matthew 27:51-53).

Another fantastic realization we should have at Easter is that we are united in the Communion of Saints with fellow believers who are still on earth and with loved ones in heaven who have gone before us – our parents, grandparents, family and friends.

Easter reminds us that we need drama in our spiritual lives. The events of the passion story still engage us with positive results. The veil in the temple is rent and heaven is opened to us.

God’s mercy is his greatest gift! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

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