Weekend Reflections for Easter Weekend 2014
The sum of all our hopes
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:18-21)
What do people want? Oh, so many things! The eastern religions say that all human beings have four wants. The first thing we want is pleasure — even the smallest child wants to feel good. We go after pleasure (which is not a bad thing) but eventually we say that pleasure is not enough to satisfy us — and so we move on. For pleasure do not last.
Next we seek success — wealth, fame, power. Again, these are good things and necessary to some extent for family and civic life. But at some point we realize “you can’t take it with you” and so come to see that these are not enough to satisfy us. For these things do not last.
Third, we seek to make a difference, to move beyond our own pleasure and gain and work for the good of others, for a better world. This is what we want. But even here, we realize that the world will never be perfect and that even my service of others is not enough to satisfy me.
Finally we realize that what we want is nothing less than: to live forever, to know everything and to be infinitely happy! That’s all. To put it simply, what we really want is to be with God forever.
Easter is the promise that we do not hope in vain. Easter is the promise that we can have what we want. Easter is the promise that what awaits us is complete life, knowledge and joy in the presence of God!
We have hopes…Easter is the promise of their fulfillment. Alleluia!