Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
On this Easter Sunday let us be raised with Christ toward the hope of heaven and all its glorious expectations and joys. We should follow today the good and faithful counsel of Saint Paul in his Letter to the Colossians, “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth”.
We should acknowledge that when we read from Sacred Scripture in the holy liturgy, it is the Holy Spirit in the Church speaking to us. Those human beings who have selected the readings for the Mass, those who are given this task by the Church, do so through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Thus what we read and hear at Holy Mass is not coincidental.
Today the Church tells us not only to think of what is above, but to seek it. In order to better frame this instruction the Church also tells us through St. Paul what we should not think of or seek: that which is on earth. This is not to say that we are to forget to eat, drink, sleep and change our clothes and instead enter into some transcendental meditative state. It is also not to say that we should ignore the world and others in the world or that we should not try to better the world which Our Lord created. It means that we are to make the eternal truths and virtues our primary reflection and activity. It means that we are not to dwell on the fleeting thoughts and desires and achievements of the world which may take us as far as a comfortable retirement but not beyond. It means that we are to fill the temporal world with eternal things, especially faith, hope and love.
Today we are to consider those words of Jesus, “…seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Mt:6:33). These consoling words are most significant for Easter morn as we consider them coming directly from God himself… today, now, and always!
On this Easter Sunday we place on our bulletin cover a work by Francesco Buoneri entitled The Resurrection (Art Institute of Chicago). Little is known of Buoneri and many have speculated as to his relationship with the master painter Caravaggio because of a few general footnotes in history. We can say with confidence only that he was a Caravaggisti, a 16th century painter dedicated to the baroque, tenebrist style of Caravaggio.
This painting lifts our minds and hearts away from the things of earth to the things of heaven. Because it is literally an uplifting work (for being oblong) we cannot show the entire figure of the sleeping soldier (bottom right). The risen Jesus takes one knee on a cloud illustrative of heaven as He holds His Cross now become a banner of victory. The soldiers do not look to heaven. They look about seeking some earthly explanation for the disappearance of Jesus. They are answered by the angel who looks beyond them to us encouraging that we look and seek what is above.
See also how the Lord Jesus looks down upon the world to bless it. In turn we must look up at Him to seek His will, “on earth as it is in heaven”, to fully capture His gracious benediction.
-Steve Guillotte, Director of Pastoral Services