Posted by Sharon Krause on Apr 17, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Pockets in clothing are very handy. Bob Keeshan, Captain Kangaroo on the popular children’s television show from 1955 to 1984, got his name because of the big pockets on his jacket. Pockets are useful for magicians who are concealing playing cards or other props for illusions. Pockets are convenient, leaving hands free from carrying handbags or other burdens.

 In a broader sense, pockets are small areas that make up bigger areas. I suggest we consider the little pockets in our daily lives that deserve some examination during this Easter season.

One such life pocket could hold some small prejudices. Just as God raised Jesus from death and opened the tomb, so we can open our hearts to new life and leave prejudices and rash judgments behind. Certainly, we need to avoid near occasions of sin, but sometimes a lack of self-confidence or memories of past failures or shortcomings can blind us to new possibilities for graces and blessings. Perhaps circumstances have changed and a grudge we hold or a lesson we had learned long ago needs to be reassessed. We might have to move things to a few different pockets, maybe ones that are bigger or have different openings.

Another life pocket could be the place we store our evangelistic witness stories. We might not pay attention to how many stories are really in that pocket, especially if we don’t pull some out now and then to share with someone else or to refer to in one of our prayers of gratitude.

Still another life pocket could involve our creativity and talents or gifts. False humility or lack of self-confidence might just keep that pocket flap buttoned up. In yesterday’s gospel reading, addressing the disciples,

 Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I

   send you. (John 20:21)

 We are challenged in this Easter season to humbly spread the good news of the gospel to others with our gift of speech and by example. We are sent by our risen Lord. Through our baptism, we are born of water and the Spirit. Our gift pockets are overflowing with possibilities!

 Pockets are very useful for keeping things close and handy. Some of them might be near our hearts where love resides. Just as the risen Jesus wished peace to his disciples when he appeared to them, may our pockets be brimming with joy and peace to enjoy and offer to the people we encounter. Alleluia! Jesus is risen! May we keep our pockets open for Holy possibilities!

    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may

   abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

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Topics: Easter season of rebirth, Sharon Krause, the examined life

Easter Monday!

Posted by Sharon Krause on Apr 10, 2023 6:00:00 AM

While it was still dark, Mary of Magdala arrived at Jesus’ tomb to find it was empty. What stones in our own lives can we move so that we can consider and receive the wonderful graces of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead?

There are many awesome graces available to us because of Easter. We should endeavor to make ourselves eagerly open to the fullness of redemption Jesus offers. What does Easter bring? Let us open our eyes!

Easter Energy. No longer is the world burdened with sin in control. We have new life and vigor and hope. Death is not the final word. We can and must seize the energy!

Easter Enlightenment. We know that all Jesus said is true! We can use the season’s newness of life to reassess our priorities in the light of Jesus’ truth! We just need to take the time.

Easter Encounters. Mary of Magdala encountered Jesus that Resurrection morning. We can become more aware of Jesus in our encounters with those who live in poverty or are otherwise in need. In joy, we can make the most of these blessed meetings.

We also may come together with a few extra family members and friends. Treasure and be thankful for the experience of the love of God as seen in these people!

Easter Eagerness. Let us not allow our enthusiasm concerning our faith wane. Let us keep up the attention to holiness and our spirituality, even in simple, gradual ways. We read that Simon Peter and John, at Mary of Magdala’s news, ran to the tomb of Jesus. May we run into our loving Savior’s arms as we continue to celebrate his resurrection.

Easter Encouragement. People often color ordinary chicken eggs at Easter to add variety and beauty and to draw attention. How can we draw attention to the good news of Easter—the good news that Jesus is risen? May we urge others to consider the true meaning of the resurrection and rejoice together? We don’t have to be Sunday-school teachers to remind others of the great sacrifice Jesus Christ made to atone for our sins!

Easter Empowerment. Jesus’ death and resurrection have granted us access to eternal life with our loving, forgiving God. We have the power to forgive others’ transgressions against us. We can repent of our own bad choices and strengthen our resolve to try again. We can be strong in that resolve!

Easter Excitement. May we bloom like the many colorful flowers are blooming right now! May we not become passive and take the blessings around us for granted. New life is blooming, and new resurrected excitement can bloom in us at any age or stage of life. Jesus’ resurrection is true and full of promise! We are saved! Alleluia!

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Topics: Easter, Easter season of rebirth, Sharon Krause, Easter joy

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