POPE Francis’ recent document, written following the Synod on Youth, encourages young people throughout the world to use their gifts, to run the race placed before them, to never stop seeking to grow in holiness.
Yet if we stop for a moment to consider the first three words of this document, “Christ is alive”, we have much to consider.
Yes, Christ is alive. The Easter Octave is over; we have celebrated the resurrection for another year.
But I keep questioning myself, what difference has Easter 2019 made in my life?
How am I different because Christ is risen?
We have undertaken a Lenten journey of prayer, self-awareness and renewal, and then we have rejoiced as Jesus left the tomb and life overcame death.
Stones have been rolled away from our hearts, and new life has been promised to us.
Yet despite the power of the great “Alleluia” it’s easy to fall back into the routine of daily life and actually forget the new life that we celebrated less than 40 days ago.
If you’re anything like me, the pace of daily life and the ordinariness of going through the motions takes over, and it’s far too tempting to lose sight of the power of the Paschal mystery at work in me every day.
The temptation can easily be there to be a routine Catholic, rather than a re-invigorated Catholic and to just keep going without giving Jesus any space to stretch and mould me as He seeks.
Yet it is right in the midst of the ordinariness of daily life that Jesus comes to meet us.
Just as Jesus called the first disciples to lay down their fishing nets and follow Him, so too He comes to meet us, as we are, right where we are, and asks us to witness with our lives that He is indeed alive and active in and through us.
Christ is not alive in us because we are successful, or because we are capable, or because we are popular.
Christ is alive in us not because of our capacity, but because of our availability to make room in our hearts for God to write His story.
Christ is alive because His name is love, and He loves us not because of who we are, but because of who He is.
Christ is risen from the dead not only for the healthy, the strong and the young; but Christ is alive in the sick, the broken and the poor.
Christ is alive when we feel discouraged and disillusioned by our world leaders and the seemingly endless narrative of violence that flashes across our screens.
Christ is alive during the mountain-top moments of our lives as well as in the darkness of the valley.
Yet as people of the resurrection, as people who live a daily “yes” to our love for God, it’s important to consider, how is Christ alive in me today?
How is Christ alive in my family?
How is Christ alive in my workplace?
And how do I communicate with my life that Christ is alive in me?
Do I tell people of Jesus, not only with my words, but with the way I live?
Just as one matchstick can overcome the darkness in a room, so too our one small voice in the place where we find ourselves can make a difference.
We are invited to be that light in the darkness.
We are invited not to perfection, but to encounter with Christ who is alive in us, and wants us to find the fullness of life in Him.
Sr Melissa Dwyer is a religious sister of the Canossian Daughters of Charity in Brisbane.