By Sister Marian Thérèse Arroyo

By Christ’s blood we were redeemed, our sins forgiven. With perfect wisdom and insight God freely displayed the mystery of what was always intended: a plan for the fullness of time to unite the entire universe through Christ.

Ephesians 7-10

Jesus is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Just a few months ago we rejoiced and celebrated the incarnate birth of Christ “when the fullness of time had come” (Galatians 4:4). Baptized into the Paschal mystery of Christ, we are washed by the immensity of God’s self-giving love and are swept into God’s victory over sin and death for all time. I am grateful for the Liturgical Year of the Church as it affords us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the life and mission of Jesus Christ and grow in it.  

I love how the movie series The Chosen depicts Jewish life in Apostolic times. The long-awaited arrival of the Messiah was imbedded deep in the collective consciousness of the Jewish people as expressed in their prayer and ritual. They had their ideas about freedom from the oppressive control of the Roman Empire. “The Chosen” offers visual and auditory insights into the interpersonal and group dynamic between Jesus, his disciples, and the context of their synodal reality.

If Jesus was born in the fullness of time more than 2 millennia ago, are we still living “in the fullness of time”?

Each year we journey into the desert experience of Lent. Within it, we engage in a myriad of Lenten sacrifices and practices. Fresh dimensions of fasting and abstinence develop as we are mindful to act intentionally with kindness and compassion in our day-to-day response to the plight of people within our household, our families, our Institute and Church, the distressed suffering, and the dying.

The desert allows us to open ourselves up to engage in the deepest, most private conversations with God. Turning over all our struggles to God in faith takes time. It teaches us to take the time to peel off those scales of pride and indifference from our eyes that keep us from “seeing the light”. A few months ago, I had my cataracts removed. Everything appeared brighter and could be seen with more clarity. However, even with 20/20 vision, it is still not perfect. It takes time “to see” as God sees.

The seasons of Lent and Easter call us to renew our purpose, our mission, our covenant with God. When we participate in the passion and death of Christ our Savior, we pray to come out alive, maybe transfigured and transformed at Easter. Conversion is lifelong.

“It is accomplished” has just begun.  

Each year, Easter marks the arrival of the springtime of our lives, yet another opportunity to start afresh, beginning anew. It’s almost like taking a shower, or coming out of confession, being reconciled, putting on fresh clean clothes after a nice bath. It is the joy and relief of letting go and letting God be in control of our lives. It is the joy of learning something new and being inspired by it.

The challenge of sharing the Good News seems to be about the quality of our receptors. What is the disposition of our listening when we hear good news? Can we believe and trust the bearer of the good news?

When Pope Francis invited the “baptized” of the Universal Church to participate in the Synod on Synodality, how was the invitation received?

Building faith in Jesus Christ in Apostolic times can be compared to the challenging work of faith today. We have a taste of heaven but not yet; we’re still working on the rest of the meal. There is much to accomplish in God’s vineyard.

Throughout this season of Easter, we will hear stories of faith that moved the disciples to tears, incredulous with joy, amazed by the wonders of God. Let us walk with one another, united in the Body of Christ, in one Spirit, one faith, ever inquisitive and inspired by the inner workings of God in our lives. Let us walk in the spirit of Encuentro, in the joy of synodality… for God journeys with us.

May the peace of Christ reign in our hearts.