"Christ ... our companion and friend"
We must seek Christ in the word and in the bread, in the Eucharist and in prayer. And we must treat him as a friend, as the real, living person he is - for he is risen. ... Christ, the risen Christ, is our companion and friend. He is a companion whom we can see only in the shadows - but the fact that he is really there fills our whole life and makes us yearn to be with him forever. ... (Christ Is Passing By, 116)
"Christ is alive." This is the great truth which fills our faith with meaning. Jesus, who died on the cross, has risen. He has triumphed over death; he has overcome sorrow, anguish and the power of darkness. "Do not be terrified" was how the angels greeted the women who came to the tomb. "Do not be terrified. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here." (Mark 16:6) "This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps 117:24)
Easter is a time of joy - a joy not confined to this period of the liturgical year, but to be found really and fully in the Christian's heart. For Christ is alive. He is not someone who has gone, someone who existed for a time and then passed on, leaving us a wonderful example and a great memory.
No, Christ is alive. Jesus is the Emmanuel: God with us. His resurrection shows us that God does not abandon his own. He promised he would not: "Can a woman forget her baby that is still unweaned, pity no longer the son she bore in her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you." (Is 49:14-15) And he has kept his promise. His delight is still to be with the sons of men. (Cf Prov 8:31). (Christ Is Passing By, 102)
Christ gives us his risen life, he rises in us, if we become sharers in his cross and his death. We should love the cross, self-sacrifice and mortification. Christian optimism is not something sugary, nor is it a human optimism that things will "work out well." No, its deep roots are awareness of freedom and faith in grace. It is an optimism which makes us be demanding with ourselves. It gets us to make a real effort to respond to God's call.
Not so much despite our wretchedness but in some way through it, through our life as men of flesh and blood and dust, Christ is shown forth: in our effort to be better, to have a love which wants to be pure, to overcome our selfishness, to give ourselves fully to others - to turn our existence into a continuous service. (Christ Is Passing By, 114)
From "Christ's presence in Christians," a homily given on Easter Sunday, March 26, 1967.