A lot of attention is often given to peoples’ last words. In the Christian tradition, we focus on the 7 last words of Christ. During this Easter season, I think it is crucial that we pay attention to the Risen Christ’s “first” words – following the Resurrection.
“PEACE BE WITH YOU.”
These words are so important for us to hear, especially in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre. What this world needs is peace and reconciliation – healing. Our Easter joy is not just some sort of glib shouting of Alleluias. it is a deep-seated joy that cannot be taken away by anything – even death. It is a joy that recognizes pain and sorrow but believes in healing and hopes in reconciliation. The Risen Christ’s first words brought reconciliation to the brokenness of the apostles’ lives.
This Easter joy gives us the spiritual strength which, as the Holy Father said recently, “triumphs over violence by the power of forgiveness, hope, and reconciling love.”
During this Easter season, we catechists can concentrate on equipping those we teach with the weapons of forgiveness, hope, and reconciling love so that they may grow in the spiritual strength that triumphs over all forms of violence.
Peace be with you and to all those you teach.