The Psalm refrain is well known: “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad,” and it is apropos for Easter. Hopefully, this is a day for rejoicing, first and foremost. What does it mean to celebrate Easter? What brings Catholics all over the world to parish churches, cathedrals, and basilicas, even to Jerusalem itself, on Easter Sunday? It is more than Easter eggs, special brunches with family or a special prime rib dinner with fine china and crystal glassware. It is more than new clothes or coming to church hoping to find a seat. Easter is the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord who conquered sin and death. Easter follows the three most important days of the church year, our Catholic High Holydays, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. On Holy Thursday we remember the Lord humbled himself, taking on the role of a servant and washing the disciples’ feet, giving them a mandate; sending them forth to live lives given in service as his disciples by announcing the Good News through their actions of ministry and service. He gave them the gift of Eucharist. But first, he had to take charge, surrender his life on a cross to demonstrate without equivocation that “…God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that everyone who believes in Him … might have eternal life.” And on that Easter morning, when the women discover the stone was rolled away, not to let Jesus out, but to let the disciples in, to discover for themselves: “He is risen as He said.”
Our Easter faith that we celebrate every Sunday tells us that there is more to life than what we can experience in this life here and now. This earthly life is a prelude, a preparation for the gift of eternal life to come. Some would say that the way we live our lives now becomes the measure of how we will experience God’s eternal abiding love in the kingdom.
Truly Easter is an important day to celebrate, to give thanks to God for all of God’s blessings, and then consider the truth and the mystery, how the risen Christ is present to us and how we are present to Him. It is all too easy to take for granted the blessings we enjoy in our lives, our community, our church, our families unless we pause and reflect on the truth we celebrate today.
On behalf of the pastoral staff, may you and your family have a Happy Easter and next weekend we can come together as a community of faith to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, for that is what Sunday is all about every week.
Easter Blessings – Father Larry