Two caterpillars are clinging to a leaf on a small bush when a beautiful butterfly floats by. It is the first time they've ever seen a butterfly. The first caterpillar is amazed by its beauty and grace: "How exciting to have wings and to fly like that," it declares. But the other caterpillar doesn't share this enthusiasm. "Listen," the other caterpillar declares, "there's no way you're ever getting me up in one of those!"
Deep inside each of us, there's a dark voice that speaks words very much like that second caterpillar: "I'm just an earth-bound caterpillar and that's all there is for me : none of this soaring to the heavens! I'll inch along my assigned leaf for awhile and then some bird will get me or I'll just drop dead." You know, sometimes our experiences do confirm what that dark voice tells us: our fondest hopes get dashed, our best ideas go nowhere, even our bodies wear down and fall apart. It may seem that dark voice is right. Yet there is another voice within us saying, "Not so! There's more to life : much more!"
All our lives, at least whenever we pay attention, we hear a quiet whisper within us declaring: "You are special. You are destined for something more than suffering and dying." This inner whisper is very quiet, so quiet that we hardly notice it and don't dare trust it. But then Jesus comes and talks to us about that inner whisper. He tells us we can trust it because it is the voice of our Abba God telling us we are God's own dear children. These are really comforting words, but can we trust them? Talk is cheap!
Well, today is Easter. The reason we celebrate Easter is because Jesus does more than just talk the talk. He walks the walk. He suffers, he dies, he is buried and then he rises from the dead : that's his guarantee that the quiet voice we hear in our hearts can be trusted. That's the message of Easter! God does not create us for pain and suffering, for sadness and dying. God creates us for an exciting and awesome life. So trust this Good News. Be filled with the joy it brings, because "joy is the infallible sign of God's presence in our lives." We are not caterpillars tied blindly to the earth below. We are each and everyone butterflies destined for the skies above!