By Kathy Fanger
Pope Leo I called Easter the greatest feast and rightly so. It is the most important day in our liturgical year. Our faith, hope, and joy celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and his promise of eternal life for all who believe in him.
Jesus came into the world as our Savior, to die for our sins once and for all, and to be raised from the dead, alive again! Even today, Jesus is alive in our hearts through the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
There are many scriptures that point to our hope in eternal life. Jesus promised, “I am going to prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14: 3-6
When Martha’s brother, Lazarus, died, Jesus promised her, “Your brother will rise.” He declared, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die; and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Martha responds, “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” John 11:25-26 Jesus asks the same question of us: “Do you believe?” As an Easter people, we, like Martha, may confidently respond, “Yes, I do believe!”
When Jesus appeared to Thomas after his resurrection, he said, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are they who have not seen me, and have believed.” John 20:29 You and I are those believers who have not seen, but believe.
On Easter weekend, our Catholic Cemeteries are a testimony to this faith. They burst forth with hundreds of visitors who spend peaceful time at the beautiful resting places of their loved ones. Family members and friends pray and decorate the sites with colorful bouquets of spring flowers, plants and white lilies. They hold onto the belief that their loved ones live with the Lord, and that one day they will be reunited with them. In the Preface for Christian Death, we pray, “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven.” (Roman Missal) Faith in this belief brings hope and peace. Catholic Cemeteries join the faithful in proclaiming, “He is risen, Alleluia!”
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. How has faith helped me during the difficult times in my life, to come to know my own giftedness and that of others, and live life more fully in the joy of the Kingdom? For more information, contact (650) 428-3730 or visit