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Title 30 West 16th Street | New York, NY 10011

“So What?”

Easter Monday 2017

Dear Sons of Xavier, Parents and Friends:

Sometimes the words flow easily when I write to you, and other times less so.   Lent, Holy Week and Easter always present a particular challenge.  For while I know what is coming, we are always invited to accompany the Lord through the desert of Lent, riding on the donkey on Palm Sunday, in the celebration of the Last Supper, on the journey to the Cross , and ultimately and joyfully, in the resurrection. So I am always faced with the question of when and what to write at this time of year:  a Lenten message, Holy Week, Easter?  Writing about the resurrection while awaiting the crucifixion never seems quite right. And as much as I am sure you wait patiently for each of my letters, I hope I am wise enough not to push my luck by sending you multiple missives!

So this year I write early in the Easter season, a message that asks “So what?”    What difference does the last week make? What difference does the resurrection make? What do we do now?  

Without good answers to these questions, the last few days are only days of fine memories, good music and enjoyable secular concerns of jellybeans and chocolate bunnies.

At more than one point this year I have found myself thinking, “If ever there was a year we needed the resurrection, this is the year.”   There seems to be an endless stream of issues to exhaust, frustrate, sadden, depress, and sap energy and hope.  Issues close to home like the death of Xavier parents and more global issues of national strife, divisions over race and culture, war and terrorism. While we always need Easter, we especially needed Easter this year.  And we have it.  So what?

The challenge to Christians the world over is to always be an Easter people, to live the life, passion, death and resurrection of the Lord each and every day and to live it deliberately in a way that actually changes our lives and the lives of others. I know the salvation of the world is entangled in this life, passion, death and resurrection. And, I know that if we are to solve the world’s problems we need to be continuously converted in and by the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Each and every day, in how we encounter one another, how we speak about the other, and how we believe our encounters can transform the world for God’s greater glory, we are called to bind our lives to Christ’s. The events of Holy Week and Easter celebrate God’s mercy and love. The Easter season invites us to make that mercy and love real in concrete ways so each and every day is a time of resurrection.

In today’s gospel, Matthew tells us that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were “fearful, yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his (Jesus’s) disciples.” I can relate to being fearful yet overjoyed in today’s world.  It is a wonderful world, but really complicated.  

The Marys let their joy win, and ran to announce the good news.  This is the answer to the “so what.”  Each and every day we need to run to announce the “good news.”  It is the news of love and mercy, not news limited to this week, but news for each and every day of the year.  It really is our only hope, the only way to bring about the transformation of the world for which Xavier exists.  Later in the gospel, Jesus says to Mary and Mary Magdalene, “Do not be afraid.”  May we make his words our own.

Happy Easter.  Be assured of my prayers.

Jack Raslowsky


Xavier High School
30 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
PH: (212) 924-7900
FAX: (212) 924-0303
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Xavier High School
30 West 16th St
New York, NY 10011
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