Easter is all about hope and that is the life blood of the Cristo Rey movement, too. It seems that every page of the gospel has a story about how Jesus raised someone from the dead or restored their sight or cured their ills. They were all seemingly impossible situations that Jesus changed. It seems like we need that assurance now more than ever because so many people feel overwhelmed by their situation and that of the world around us. Jesus’ power is not to be contained; even death submits to His love.
And each one of those cases began because someone dreamed that things could be different; things did not have to be the way they were. As Easter people we all have to work on our ability to dream. Nothing will ever happen if we don’t think it will. One of the saddest incidents recorded in the gospel is in Mark 6:5-6. Jesus is in Nazareth, his own home town, but he finds that he can’t perform any of his miracles there “because they didn’t believe.” It has always struck me that apparently when we don’t believe, we somehow bind Jesus’ hands. What a terrifying power that is! We paralyze him because we don’t think he can do it. It is a fearful thing to think we have that kind of power over him. On the contrary, how many miracles in the gospel are granted simply because the person has believed. St. Paul used the phrase of “hoping against hope.” Where Jesus is involved nothing can hold us back.
It strikes me that this story is diametrically opposed to what is supposed to happen in a Cristo Rey Network school. When I hear someone say that this student is incapable of learning; he just isn’t “college material,” I fear we are repeating what happened in Nazareth and we are binding Jesus’ hands. We are anti-Easter people. How will the student ever become “college material” if we don’t think he can?