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I hope you all are having a shining Easter Week, on every day of which "the splendor of Christ risen from the dead shines on the people redeemed by his blood." The Easter Vigil at Thomas Aquinas College was luminous. We entered the chapel in complete darkness, its cavernous interior lit only by the arching flame from the Paschal Candle. I could see the massive columns stretching up into the blackness, above which serenely rode the massive dome. This void, above which God's spirit hovered, and into which darkness God spoke the light, soon glowed with the warm flames of 700 candles, held by 700 souls hoping that someday they too would ascend into the dome of heaven.
Next morning, after the early Mass, two students and I set out to climb Mount
Back down here, it's Eastertide. The Snow and ice have melted, and earth is blooming anew. Every chapel, it seems, has blossomed since Good Friday. I've been stopping in every parish and chapel I can to take a look. In the College chapel staid lilies line the sanctuary in rational order; in the Carmelite chapel, twelve varieties of flowers explode from the altar in variegated textures and colors; in a nearby parish, white lilies and yellow roses adorn the altar, perhaps signaling the double papal canonization this Sunday. Each altar, and each community of Christians, witness to Christ's resurrection in the particular colors and textures God has given them. "You are witnesses of these things," declares St. Peter in today's gospel. Each of us must witness to the final triumph of good over every kind of evil, and we will do it in the way God has ordained for each of us. Some are lilies, some are roses (with or without thorns), some are daisies, some are orchids.
On Sunday we will witness an unprecedented event in history: two popes will canonize two popes. Each of them has served as a clear witness to Christ's death and resurrection, and each in the way properly ordained for him by God. John XXIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis I are not to be compared, despite the media's insistence on facile comparisons. Each is a great gift to humanity, and each of us is an irreplacable gift to human history. "You are witnesses of these things." How blest we all are to live as witnesses to Christ in this dark world, this cold and icy world, this despairing world. We have the privilege to bring light and hope, as did these popes. Keep the joy of knowing Jesus alive in your hearts, and Happy Easter!