Our parish was indeed blessed this Easter with 5 young adults being accepted into full membership within our Church at our Easter Vigil.  These are indeed hopeful signs that more and more people are being drawn by the beauty of Christ and His gospel.

                But I also think that it is in part a revolution against the new paganism that has permeated our society.  It seems to me that more and more people are becoming more and more disgusted with the appalling spectacle of this modern paganism.  It is not evident to you that people everywhere are chafing under its chains and demanding their dignity as children of God?

                The church today has a golden opportunity to make the gospel real and relevant to a world that is weary of wars and terrorism, weary of bondage, weary of emptiness, and increasingly weary of moral degradation.  It is a time when we should prepare ourselves to be the church at its best.  We must remind ourselves that the world cares nothing for our petty religious differences and our narrow views.  But a world that is increasingly wary of paganism is a world that is ready for the message of God’s love, delivered by you and me who demonstrate that love in our own lives.

                Jesus told us centuries ago: “Man cannot live by bread alone.”  Thus, a quiet revolt is beginning to take place here and there around the world.  There is a spreading and growing revolt against paganism as more and more people face the futility of life without God.

                These are encouraging signs, because the only hope for our world lies in what St. Paul called, “a fresh, spiritual way of thinking.”  If our world is to return from the edge of despair and the brink of self-destruction, we must recognize, accept, and give ascendancy to spiritual values.  It is not enough to believe in science.  We have seen what science can do when it serves the purposes of paganism.  It is not enough to believe in education.  We have seen the unspeakable tragedy of trained minds when they are bent on selfish and destructive ends.

                Above all such elements in our modern civilization, rises the realm of spiritual values – justice and righteousness, mercy, and good will.  These, and these alone, put purpose in life and give meaning and direction to it.  These are the values that were preached by the prophets.  These are the values that Jesus both taught and practiced.  These are the values that our world today cannot afford to ignore.  If we do, it is only to our own disaster.

                Our modern world, with all of its pride and accomplishment, is back where that ancient world was when first it confronted Christ.  We are in desperate need of saving.  We must confront ourselves and our world with Christ.  He is the one viable option to the despair, degradation, and disintegration of paganism.  Let us live and proclaim with all that we have and are that: “You must no longer live as the pagans do… you must put that new man, created in God’s image, where justice and holiness are born of truth.”  This is the Christian gospel of Easter.