New life comes from welcoming the marginalized, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and proclaiming good news to the poor.


“Peace be with you.”

For what may be the millionth time, Jesus greets his disciples with these words of comfort and love. And they need it, for they were heartbroken and afraid. It’s the first Easter evening, and Jesus’s disciples are shut up away, when Jesus comes among them. 

“Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” Jesus asks. 

Maybe because they think they are seeing a ghost, and ghosts mean vengeance. It’s one thing to be afraid that authorities will find you. It’s another thing to be confronted by a man you have abandoned in death. 

But it’s more than his physical body that makes Jesus not a ghost. It’s also the fact that he returns with forgiveness and love that extends the death-defying life he embodies to his disciples. And when he eats fish with them, he is not just proving that he has a working digestive system so that the fish doesn’t fall through his appearance onto the floor. He is saying: “Relax, friends. It’s me. Let’s eat.”

The disciples who write the Gospels are not ashamed to admit that they had everything wrong. They didn’t understand Jesus’ mission or his death or his resurrection. They didn’t understand that Jesus was not there to conquer with violence, but to conquer violence, and the cycles of death that arise out of it, itself.

But when Jesus comes back to them, he explains everything, and a new understanding begins to take hold not just because of his words, but because of everything that his life has shown. New life comes from welcoming the marginalized, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and proclaiming good news to the poor. 

Moreover, new life comes from realizing that the Source of All Life is Love. God is not violent power that conquers, and those who suffer are not being punished by God. Rather, God is with the suffering, embodied in the suffering, and loving the suffering into new life from the inside-out.

Repentance —  a new mind that comes from recognizing God’s solidarity with the poor and recognizing the power of Love to bring life from death, abundance from poverty, flourishing from suffering — is a gift to all. Forgiveness — the grace to be more than our mistakes, to live into the Love in Whom we have our being — is a gift to all. Repentance and forgiveness are to be proclaimed to the whole world.

Lindsey, Adam, and friends talk about the meaning of all of this in our world of racism and greed and us vs. them? How does knowing that we are Loved, that God is Love, and that life comes from and through Love, empower us to confront the sins of systemic racism and dehumanization and transform them from the inside out?

The Olive

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