I was once asked, “Father, what is transformation and how do you know you are there?” For me, that question has become the Easter question. Transformation has to do with something becoming different than it was. The transformation from the death of sin to the fullness of life is possible because God sent his Son who took on our sins and won. What looked like defeat as he hung lifeless on the cross was transformed into victory through his resurrection from the dead. Instead of being destroyed by our sinfulness, the resurrection was the transformative event making it possible for us to grow to our fullest potentional as the good people God created us to be.
When it comes to transformation, how do you know you are there? In this life, we do not arrive at the fullness of our transformation. Life in Jesus is all about a lifelong journey of being transformed, of being made new and different. While no one is fully transformed in this life, there are signs that it is happening. Transformation is happening when we take steps to become fully human, to feel, to love, to share, to know and to celebrate beauty. It is happening when people decide to be fully initiated into the Catholic community of faith through Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. It is happening when we open ourselves to the process of finally forgiving someone. It happens when we decide to do what we never thought we could do, like seeing someone through their last days on earth, letting go of a bad habit or confronting a problem that we have ignored or denied for years.
Transformation is happening when a Crystal Cathedral becomes Christ Cathedral and St. Callistus Parish, rooted in its venerable past, continues to grow as the vibrant, faith-filled welcoming and loving community of Christ Cathedral Parish. Transformation has many faces. The way to it began with the faces of the first human beings created. Its possibility happened with the face of Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead. Its continued possibility is to be found on our faces and on the faces of people throughout the world who dare to make the Easter proclamation: Jesus Christ is risen, it is true! Because of that proclamation our lives and this turbulent world can indeed be transformed.
A blessed Easter to all,
Very Reverend Christopher Smith, rector