This year, Ash Wednesday coincided with Valentine’s Day and Easter coincides with April Fool’s Day. God willing, we will celebrate Lent and Easter again on Valentine’s Day and April Fool’s Day respectively, in the year 2029.
Today we can once again sing the “Halleluiah” that we have not sung all through Lent. “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad,” (Ps 118:24). The Lord has risen. He has risen, indeed. The crucifixion of Christ is a historical event; the resurrection is the foundation of our faith. “If Christ is not raised, your faith is in vain,” (1 Cor 15:17). Without the Resurrection there would be no Church and there would be no Christians. The Resurrection is everything for us Christians, and without it, we would be nothing. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, “The Christian faith stands or falls with the truth of the testimony that Christ is risen from the dead.”
It is Easter. In the Catholic Church, Easter is a lengthy season at fifty days. In the next few weeks we will walk with the disciples who encountered the risen Lord, until his Ascension and then we will await the Holy Spirit’s coming at Pentecost. We have begun living the greatest mysteries of our Faith in the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil) and will continue to do so through the Easter season. So why do we keep celebrating when those around us have moved on? We continue to celebrate because it is the highest, holiest, happiest and most important days of the year.
In this season, we shall deepen our understanding of this great mystery and truth of our faith in His resurrection. During this time, we should read and meditate on the 14 stories about Jesus’ resurrection in the four Gospels and in the various chapters of Scripture and the testimony of St. Paul to the Resurrection. We should also reflect on the daily Mass readings, which are related to the Resurrection. We can live the spirit of Easter in our homes by placing lighted candles and simple decorations throughout the entire season. Make Easter the central aspect of prayer during this beautiful season. As we pray every day, we continually ask the Risen Lord to enter our lives to conquer sin. God in the resurrected Jesus, is living in us and He will strengthen our faith. Our lives will be full of joy as we allow ourselves to be pointed to the truth that He is risen and He is alive.
The Lord is truly risen to fill and inspire a new spirit and new meaning in our Christian lives. It has awakened a new purpose in us. Our lives have beauty now because He has risen and He lives in us always. We are Easter people – people of joy and people of hope, filled with the spirit of Alleluia, the Risen Lord.
As the sun rises in the East to begin a new day, may this Easter – the celebration of the Victory of the Lord – bring us all a new commitment to the Life of Jesus and to the life of our community.
“We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song!” (St. John Paul II).
WISHING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
A BLESSED AND JOYFUL EASTER!
Fr. George Packiasamy