San Francisco, CA
THE RISEN CHRIST: REMEMBRANCE, HOPE, AND FULLNESS
In this Season of Easter, we are called to set our eyes on the Risen Christ and to reflect on the transformational journey Christ calls us to. By bringing the memory of our past and the hopes for our future to the Risen Christ, we can experience the fullness of life made possible through Jesus’ and our Resurrection:
The Risen Christ is Remembrance. As we reflect on the sacrifice of Christ and witness his Resurrection, we remember the many people before us that have hung on a cross due to rejection, fear, intolerance, and close-mindedness. The Risen Christ bears wounds on His hands, feet, and side just like many of us bear the wounds of injustice. Yet, the Risen Christ walks with us, invites us to touch His wounds so we can experience the fruit of His sacrifice, and calls us to give ourselves fully to Him with unconditional abandon. We are called to remember our wounds yet to rise up and be examples of the new life that is far more powerful than death.
The Risen Christ is Hope. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, we can rest in the hope of a resurrection. Our suffering is not the end. Injustice is not the end. Our brokenness is not the end. There is a new life that is made possible through Christ. His sacrifice and Resurrection invites us to experience our own transformation and resurrection. In turn, we are to be beacons of hope to others through our words and actions. We are called to bring about this new life to those that are afflicted so that they can, through our witness, rest in the hope of their own resurrection.
The Risen Christ is Fullness. When we rest in Jesus, we experience true happiness, which takes place as we participate in His Resurrection. In our dying and rising, we come to know the fullness of God’s love through Jesus. It is a happiness that no words can describe; a happiness that fulfills our very purpose as human beings; a happiness that reminds us that, as beings created in the Imago Dei, we share Jesus’ love and resurrection. Christ’s Resurrection restores our life, ends our suffering, and brings us to complete and everlasting fullness.
Ish Ruiz is a doctoral student in the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and a Religious Studies instructor at a Catholic high school in San Francisco. Ruiz has offered workshops to high school faculty and staff on the care for LGBTQ+ students in Catholic schools and is a member of the Marianist LGBT Initiative Team, which published a resource titled Addressing LGBT Issues with Youth: A Resource for Educators. He is also a leading member of the Young Adults group at Most Holy Redeemer parish in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco, which is known for its integration of LGBTQ+ Catholics into the life of the Church. Ruiz has made several contributions in the media and through his ministries regarding the protection of LGBTQ+ Church workers, the Catholic Church’s response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, and the contributions of LGBTQ+ teachers in Catholic schools.