The hope of the Resurrection is the cause of our rejoicing during the Easter season. The Risen Christ offers us peace, as he did to the frightened disciples locked in the Cenacle or Upper Room. The Cenacle itself becomes then a place of deeper community that leads to mission. The mission Christ gives is not our own. It is his. We share in it. We go forth as witnesses of the Risen Christ from the community, are sent by the community, and return to the community. This must be done in integrity through not only saying what we believe but living it.
Pope Francis recently provided some reflection on this: “Many Christians only say they believe, but they live something else, as if they did not. And this is hypocrisy. The opposite of witness is hypocrisy.” (General Audience on March 22, 2023)
No one wants to be accused of being a hypocrite. Few of us will perfectly live the life of faith. Witnessing Christ is not about being perfect, but by being perfected by him through ongoing conversion of heart and mind. This is accomplished through the grace of the Sacraments provided by the community of faith, the Church. As St. Vincent Pallotti taught, we are called to cooperate with this grace so that we can witness the Risen One more authentically to the world as apostles.
May the charity of Christ urge us on!