Father James’ Easter Letter 2018
April 1, 2018
“Rise, let us be on our way” (Mk14:42). These are the words that Jesus said in the garden of Gethsemane when he found Peter, James and John in their slumber. This passage also serves as the theme of our building capital campaign.
We can break Mark 14:42 into two parts. In this single statement Jesus has two commands namely, “Rise,” and “let us be on our way.” To “Rise” means more than just rising from sleep or rolling out of bed. It is a command to rise from the tombs of fear, skepticism, doubt and despair. If there had been times that we succumbed to the tomb, let us heed to the words of Jesus once again, “I tell you, rise” (Jn5:8). Rising means life. Each disciple ought to stand with confidence, with love, and with great hope.
The second part is “let us be on our way.” Jesus is the way (Jn14:6). Being on the way means walking towards freedom. Remember, a disciple does not walk alone. Discipleship is never a solo sprint, but a slow walk on the way that Jesus himself paved for us. Faithful to God’s command, freedom was always the intention of Moses as he leads the Israelites on the way to the Promised Land (Ex9:1). So, these words, “Rise, let us be on our way” added a new significance to the garden of Gethsemane. It is not simply a memorial for agony and betrayal; it is more than that, much more. It is the way towards victory. It is there that the message of Easter is also made known ––the message of Life and Freedom.
Friends, sometimes we too may find ourselves in a garden––a garden of slumber and hopelessness. Remember, what Jesus said to Peter, James, and John he says to us, “Rise, let us be on our way” (Mk14:42). Happy Easter!
Fr. James F. Oropel, Administrator