So often, when Jesus healed the sick, he would tell them, “Your faith has healed you.”  Faith is a great gift from God that frees us from the afflictions of life.  Pope Emeritus Benedict wrote, “The core of faith rests upon accepting being loved by God.”  When we proclaim “Amen”, we are affirming that we believe that God loves us so much that he cannot help giving us what He knows we need.

It is with love that an encounter with Jesus would bring about a healing. The Gospels tell us that he fed the 5,000 because he felt love and pity in his heart. Jesus wept upon hearing of the death of Lazarus and with tears of love he brought his friend miraculously from the tomb. We dare approach Jesus with our petitions, because of our faith in his love.

After Jesus rose from the dead, Mary Magdalen encountered him and Jesus healed her sorrow and replaced her uncontrollable sadness with uncontainable joy.  When the disciples first encountered the risen Christ, Jesus said, “Peace be with you” and their fearful hearts were healed and they were sent to proclaim God’s love.  When Thomas encountered the risen Lord, his doubt was removed and his faith restored.  When Jesus appeared, he did so with love for his disciples and healed their mourning, fear, and doubt.  Jesus could have appeared before the masses or even to Caesar himself, but instead he appeared only to those who were ready to believe in their resurrection encounter.

Easter is a celebration of God’s great love for us and the vast power of faith.  The depth of God’s boundless love for us is shown in Jesus’ crucifixion and ultimately in his resurrection.  In the glow of that first Easter sunrise, we are all called to an encounter with the risen Christ to receive the message of redemption and eternal life.  Jesus told Mary Magdalen to share the good news with the disciples who were then told, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  Through Thomas our faith was blessed and affirmed by Jesus, “Blessed are those who have not seen and believed.”  May we encounter the risen Christ so that our wounded and broken hearts may be filled with faith so that we will be strengthened by Jesus words of eternal encouragement, “Be not afraid.”   May you have a blessed Easter! He is risen.  Alleluia!