In the aftermath of World War II in a German town, the people were devastated to see the terrible destruction of not just everything they had built but, more importantly, all their hopes and aspirations. Picking up the pieces left by the bombs in one village, the people collected what they could, including a broken crucifix.
After reconstruction, the villagers were divided about whether to keep the old crucifix or to get a new one. Finally, they agreed to place the old crucifix with its broken limbs and legs above the altar, along with the following inscription: “I have no hands but yours; I have no legs but yours, to continue the mission and usher in the kingdom of God.” Jesus continues to remain with us, even in the challenges, through the hands and feet of one another.
Within ten years of founding a new congregation, Blessed Basile Moreau sent missionaries to Algeria, Poland, the United States, and Canada despite the Congregation’s relatively small number and the ever-increasing need of the dioceses of France. His trust in Divine Providence coupled with his zeal for God’s mission led Holy Cross out of France and around the world with very few vocations and meager resources. Blessed Moreau trusted that God would use the hands and feet of his religious to usher in the resurrection in ordinary people’s lives.
The resurrection can be an elusive experience for us today, even on this Easter Day, as it was for the first disciples. While it takes the eyes of faith to see the resurrection, it also takes the concrete hands and feet of those willing to walk with Jesus in faith through all of life’s challenges and difficulties, its hardships, and uncertainties. But then, as our Constitutions promise, the resurrection can become for us—for all—a daily event.
This reflection on the Resurrection of Jesus was written by Fr. Gaspar Selvaraj, C.S.C., a member of the Vicariate of Tamil Nadu in India, and was originally published in the revised edition of The Cross, Our Only Hope: Reflections in the Holy Cross Tradition published by Ave Maria Press. Fr. Gaspar currently serves as formator in the House of Formation in Fatimanagar, Trichy.