By Fr. Christopher Foeckler, MJ •  St. Josaphat Formation Center • Phoenix, AZ

On my way to Chicago the other day by airliner I was hurtling through the skies at 500 miles per hour to my destination with the quiet roar of the engines around the amazingly stable cabin filled with fellow passengers and crew. The smoothness and the initial tranquility of the flight when even the crew is still seated afforded me several moments of quiet heartfelt prayer. I commended my hopes to the Lord and to Mary, His Mother. I had hope at the moment to arrive safely in Chicago, then hoped to complete my pastoral task and return by plane to Phoenix in a day. I had hope that all would go well there with the youth and the adults I would meet and talk with and celebrate sacraments with. I had hope that life and work for me and all my brothers and sisters in Phoenix would go smoothly and successfully, and I hoped that the future would be peaceful and productive for us members of Miles Jesu as well as for all our families and friends.

But then the plane experienced a little turbulence, and I was reminded of our hurtling through the altitudes at break neck speeds and the thought came to mind about how I was also hurtling through time to the completion of my life – hopefully many years ahead, but eventually. This inevitable ending with my death someday would put me in direct, personal, face to face encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It would be the most important moment of my life. My prayer of hope shifted drastically from the here and now to the threshold of eternity, and I prayed with hope in the Lord.

A reading from Easter Week came to mind: “Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” (Rm 6:3-6)

The Hope of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the great Hope we have for eternal life with Him, but which also gives meaning to all the other temporal hopes of good things we have here and now. The “newness of life” that St. Paul exhorts us to comes from the Resurrection of Jesus, enabling us by His love and grace to live with hope and joy for the future – in time and eternity. Happy Easter to all!

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