In chapter 8, verse 31 of his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Shortly after that, in verse 35, he also asks, “What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?” Whenever one of the major Christian holidays comes near, I hear that there is a “war” on Christianity, that Christmas and Easter are being so secularized and sanitized that they are losing their meaning . . . but that can only happen if faithful Christians allow it. As an addendum to St. Paul’s ancient questions, I want to share a modern one:
If Jesus could endure scourging and a crown of thorns from the Romans, insults and jibes from the same people who had flocked to him for healing, betrayal and abandonment by his Apostles, and after that, a slow death on a cross, then can’t we endure the misguided capitalism of corporate retailers and the nonspecific term “winter break” used by public schools?
In Matthew 10:14, Jesus tells his followers, “And if anyone does not welcome you or listen to what you have to say, as you walk out of the house or town shake the dust from your feet.” Easter is a day to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came as the Savior of all mankind, and all the fluffy bunnies and Cadbury Eggs in the world won’t change that— except maybe for a person so weak in faith that the simple pleasures found in chocolate candy and pastel colors can make him forget.