Sunday, April 16, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “Easter is a time when God turned the inevitability of death into the invincibility of life.” — Craig D. Lousbrough.

Early Easter morning, while it was still dark, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb.

She saw the stone removed and ran to tell the disciples: “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”

Peter and John ran to the tomb, went in, and saw the burial cloths there. The Gospel says simply that they “saw and believed.”

Surely, this is one of the most simple and most profound declarations of faith: They “saw and believed.”

It is even more profound because the very next sentence of the Gospel tells us: “For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”

Is it possible to see, to believe, to trust, and not fully know? This is, in fact, the journey of faith. Does anyone ever fully know?

Is it possible that we can understand, especially the great mysteries of faith, so fully that there is nothing more to learn, to know, to appreciate?

No doubt it is the know-it-all who perhaps knows less than the person of simple faith. Or to say it in another way, there are many ways to know.

Some know with the mind, but have little connection to the heart. Some know and believe fully with the heart, but do not understand, or even have a confused or erroneous understanding. They just believe.

The mature and fully-formed Catholic knowing is to know in the spirit of the shema prayer: to know and to love the Lord “with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

The Easter testimony of the scriptures reveals an incredible experience in the empty tomb, an equally incredible response of faith, and hints at the road ahead. We are to spend a life of learning, growing, appreciating, and coming to know.

The disciples “saw and believed,” then spent the rest of their lives growing in their understanding and preaching what they believed.

This is the same journey we are invited to make as today’s disciples of Jesus, our risen Lord! Alleluia!

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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