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BE INTENT! Easter Sunday, Year B

         Everybody knows a little about music and sports, a little about the weather, a little about history, a little about gardening, a little about politics and science, a little about business, a little about…  Some respond to the little they know and come to know a whole lot more in some areas. There are many people in human life we need only know a little about. The more significant people in our life, we need to know a whole lot more about.

            Everybody knows a little about Jesus of Nazareth. What Peter said after Jesus rose and ascended into glory is true of many today. “I take it you know what has been reported all over Judea about Jesus of Nazareth, beginning in Galilee with the baptism John preached; of the way God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and power, He went about doing good works and healing all who were in the grip of the devil, and God was with Him.”

            While there are many subjects and people in human life that most people, with the exception of a few who need to know a lot, only need to know a little about the Lord and His Word. Jesus the Risen Lord can be present to everyone by the Holy Spirit, and wants to be. This is definitely not the case with nationally known entertainment, political and news figures. People give large blocks of their lives learning about and following them, and those they follow definitely do not know them. They have no power to be related in the way the Lord can be related to everyone. Through prayers, the Scriptures and the Church, we can be in constant contact with the Risen Lord and He with us. Such is the life of true faith.

            This wonderful relationship with the Lord, which makes all other relationships in human life make sense, is known by those who want to know more than just a little about Our Lord. They want to know the fullness of the life the Lord gives us in baptism, and all His life promises us. “Since you have been raised up in company with Christ, set your heart on what pertains to higher realms where Christ is seated at God’s right hand.” If one’s heart is set on everyone and everything but the Lord, the knowledge of the Lord will remain at a few facts, instead of the personal knowledge of the Lord Himself that is possible.

            Our age offers many attractive people and material things and opportunities, which can divert us from the pursuit of our life with the Lord. That is, unless we make conscious decisions to grow in our faith and relationship with the Lord, and rise above what we can see and hear in our natural life. “Be intent on things above rather than on things of earth.” Be intent! Once people set their mind on Christ, and respond to the Lord’s graces, they begin to see the greatness of living their faith in a deeper way. They begin to understand their faith and life with God in ways they may have missed for years. Their life of baptism becomes more alive for them. They wonder how they could have taken so long to discover the Lord, and how they could have been so satisfied with such a superficial knowledge and shallow living of their faith. Paul gives a reason for being intent in going deeper into one’s faith. “After all, you have died! Your life is hidden now with Christ in God. When Christ our life appears, then you shall appear with Him in glory.”

            People undergoing conversions are amazed how they could have missed so much in their life of faith, and how they could have become involved in so much sin, which they didn’t fully recognize. They want to lay all that aside. “Let us celebrate the feast not with the old yeast, that of corruption and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

            Life, the Church, people, things, nature, experiences of all kinds look different and are responded to differently by those who have come to know that the Lord knows them and they know the Lord, and the Risen Lord is present to them in the Holy Spirit. They know and experience what the people of the Easter Scriptures did, Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter and John, and all those down through the ages, who have seen and believed deeply!

            Be intent on a deeper life of faith with our Risen Lord!!

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