Dear Brother or Sister,
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
These are the words at the beginning of the Prologue of John’s Gospel. They summarize the whole drama of human history: God sent his Son into the world and we rejected him, nailing him to a terrible cross. But in the dark of that first Easter night, the opposite of that rejection takes place, when Jesus Christ rises from the dead. The light of the Risen Christ, from that moment until now, shines in the darkness of human sin, death, and hopelessness.
The light of the Risen Christ is no mere symbol or poetic speech about optimism. It is rather The Event, The Happening. It is the new context by which the human race lives or dies. He is the risen sun, but one that never sets, because he will never die again. Our challenge now is to emerge from the darkness of our own personal sins and spiritual tombs to live under the light and life-giving warmth of this sun, who is the Risen Jesus himself.
The joy of my life as a priest is regularly witnessing people coming out of the darkness of despair, hopelessness, aimlessness, spiritual boredom…and embracing the unique life of following the Risen Lord in his mission to draw the entire world into the radiant life of God. All those who were baptized at the Easter Vigil are the visible fruit that the Lord himself is powerfully at work in our midst. He continues to go into the darkness of individual human hearts, to bring the light of his presence there. Because this light is that of God, it therefore makes life–with all its struggles and suffering—first bearable and finally glorious.
It bugs me that so many people don’t know this light. So many of our contemporaries don’t know about the resurrection of Jesus and even less what it means. This is especially true of people under the age of 35, of which 40% report having “no religious affiliation” and, also troubling, among whom suicide rates are steadily climbing to all-time highs. But what a tragedy, because the Catholic Church is precisely where the light of Christ shines in all its splendor and diversity and power. Yet this light remains hidden to so many who need it.
That’s why I am pleased to announce my new multi-media digital platform, CATHOLIC BREAKFAST. It’s at www.CatholicBreakfast.org. Here you can get frequent, short, and accessible spiritual fare in daily life, specially targeting the social media environment—where most spiritually starving Millennials are. For the first week of Easter, check out a 7-part series on prayer called “Soul Food.” Give it a try! Use the platform to stay connected to the light of Christ throughout the week. Most importantly…share content with people on social media in your life who will benefit from it. My goal is to share the joy of the gospel on the digital continent with the spiritually starving.
When the Risen Christ encountered this frustrated and fearful disciples after a long night of failed fishing, he called them in the light of the rising sun: “Come, have breakfast!” That’s what he says to us, too. That’s what he wants to say through us to our loved ones who sit in darkness. I invite you to join me in this coming year as we go out to those dark places and bring the light of Christ.
Because the darkness has not overcome it. And it never will.