A couple of weeks ago we hosted Father Greg Boyle as our speaker in the Glastonbury Inter-faith Lecture Series. Father Greg is a Jesuit who has been working in Los Angeles for thirty years with male and female gang members. He has been successful in touching the lives of many living a life of crucifixion to bring them into a new life of resurrection.

In the course of his talk Father Greg told us that his mother had recently died. Along with his two brothers and four sisters he was at the bed of his dying mother. When one sibling arrived late, his mother opened her eyes, looked at her and simply said “You’re here.” I was profoundly touched by these two words. “You’re here!” What I heard in this context was recognition, acceptance, delight, comfort, blessing, and love. These two words expressed some deep feelings and convictions. They have been on my mind for the past two weeks and, finally, became my mantra for Easter. I share with you some thoughts I have had.

Come with me, now, and let us encounter the Risen Christ in the new creation.

On Easter morning the Resurrection resounded throughout the universe as the cosmic Christ filled all of creation. Every star, every galaxy, every black hole, every sun and moon resounded with the cry, “You’re here!”

On Planet Earth the material world was touched by a fellow creature now exalted, who has lifted all with him. Stones and soil, sand and air, every animal and bird, every human who ever lived found voice in the words of Adam and Eve who reached out to Christ and cried, “You’re here!"

In that garden on Easter morn, the risen Christ turned toward Mary Magdalen and with joy and love said to her, “You’re here!” And Mary, her breast burning with love and ecstasy, tears streaming down her face, reached out to her beloved and exclaimed, “You’re here!”

In every prison cell, in every migrant camp, in every hospital where people lay dying, where children and families starve, wherever the crucifixion continues to occur again and again, the risen Lord is present and faith and hope impels all who suffer to reach out and say, “You’re here!”

And in every church throughout the world this day, the people of God, the body of Christ, come together. They hear the Word of God and say “You’re here!” They look around and see their fellow Christian brothers and sisters and recognize the spirit of Christ burning within them. We look at each other and say, “You’re here!” And we approach the altar and receive the living sign of the presence of the body and blood of the risen Christ in the form of bread and wine, and our hearts expand as we proclaim, “You’re here!”

And Christ, our risen Lord, looks at each one of us, looks into our eyes, grasps our hands, and says with joy, “You’re here!” And what, my brothers and sisters, do we respond to these words ? -----
Look at each other and say it again,   -------

We are Easter Christians. This is our feast day. Easter should ignite our life so we, like Greg Boyle, are disturbed, moved, challenged but also given confidence to see the crucified Christ in our world and all around us. That we might look at the most needy and rejected of our society and be able to say, “You’re here!”  Christ has overcome suffering and death. So can we.

By the way, if I haven’t said it already, I’m glad you’re here.
Happy Easter.







Fr. Timothy J. Joyce, OSB, STL