April 26, 2023, 6:00 AM

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. Psalm 23:1


The season of Easter continues. Alleluia.


There is perhaps no better description of the effects of the resurrection than in Psalm 23. “I shall not be in want.” With the threat of death vanquished, we are no longer in want. The human Jesus has been transformed into the resurrected Christ – one who transcends time, space, and all other limitations. It is the same Christ who has been present since the beginning of time, and who now reveals himself to us again in fullness.


St. Francis grasped the fullness of Christ when he left everything behind, moved forward without guarantees, and acted simply on faith. Having experienced the horrors of war, disease, poverty, and the loneliness of a cave where he cried endlessly, St. Francis found himself not to be in want. All he needed was the Shepherd – the resurrected Christ – to not only survive, but flourish.


Resurrection for us is not a one-time event. It continues to occur daily in all our lives, whether we choose to see it or not. The eternal and universal Christ permeates all that exists including our mind, body, and spirit, and does so through time, space, and matter. The resurrected Christ is unstoppable – bringing love, wisdom, healing, mercy, and wise counsel.


When the resurrection is regarded as a one-time event, we are diminished often to our own detriment. We continually look for a final resurrection/judgment, only to find ourselves waiting and waiting and waiting. We miss the miraculous blessings already around us. Similarly, when we see the risen Christ only as the human Jesus (i.e., Jesus Christ vs. the universal Christ), we find ourselves pondering rescue by a God who is procrastinating until the end of time to ensure resurrection and victory for us.


The Good News is that Christ doesn’t wait. Christ is continually giving life to everyone every day. There is no need to wait. Eternal life is already here. Will the future hold more? Perhaps. Yet, what is assured is a promise that “we shall not be in want” now or in the future.


When we have doubts about the sustained goodness of God in all times and in all places, it might be helpful to refocus on the transformed and resurrected Christ. As St. Patrick said centuries before St. Francis:


Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.


Prayers and Blessings as Easter continues in our lives,


Fr. John