Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This has been an Easter unlike any other. For the first time in memory, we were unable to be in church to celebrate Easter morning. Back on Holy Thursday, a friend told me “it doesn’t feel like Holy Week,” and, honestly, Easter felt different for me, too. It was very different this year, and I doubt any of us will forget it.
Yet my Mom likened this Easter to the Christmas in How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Resurrection still happened. Our Lord is alive, risen from the dead, and neither the Roman Lance nor the Sanhedrin’s stone – nor COVID – can prevent that. Although it may seem like we’re in an extended Holy Saturday and our Easter is like one celebrated in exile, yet the promise of the Cross makes the gloom of Good Friday and the long sadness of Holy
Saturday seem as only a bad dream that cannot be remembered when we awaken on Easter morning. As we heard at the Vigil Mass, God promised to bring Israel back from exile – so, too, our exile is not forever.
We are not a Lenten People, although we have our share of crosses to bear; nor are we an Adventine People, although our lives are characterized by a kind of expectant longing for the Lord. No, we are an Easter People, because it is the promise of the Resurrection that gives hope to our whole lives, and it is the light of Easter that lets us see clearly how each moment of our lives – even the Cross – is directed towards God.
Because Jesus is alive, we have hope: God has promised that, just as Jesus has been raised, so we, too, as members of His Body in Baptism, will be raised with Him. Because we have hope in God’s promises, we can be joyful, holding on to the promise of eternal life with God. Therefore, we can live our whole lives in the light of Easter joy, no matter what happens, for Christ is alive!
Reflection: A Season of Joy; A Season of Silence
“Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever” – Jesus Christ; (Rev 1:18)
I suspect that first Easter morning was terribly silent, in all honesty. The women arrived at the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus and, although Our Lord had promised He would rise from the dead, still “they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead” (Jn 20:9). The grief of Our Lord’s death, unexpected to the Apostles, blinded them to the coming joy of Easter. It was a complete surprise.
Yet like a sunrise which comes on slowly, without noise and without ostentation, rising slowly up the eastern horizon until, at last, the world is ablaze with light, so, too Our Lord rose from the dead. In a moment, the world has been changed: death, despair, and the troubles of this world are not permanent. In fact, they have been swallowed up by the Eternal Word, transfigured that they can serve His plan of redemption. Silently, silently the seed of Resurrection blooms on the third day – the first fruits of those who will come to life if we believe in Him.
When I think of Easter, I think of loud music, church bells, and family gatherings. Yet this year, we have a particular opportunity to enter into the silence of that first Easter morning, when the whole world was different, but no one yet knew. In these next fifty days of Easter, by entering into that silence and waiting, we might anticipate the redemption revealed in us, even now, as an Easter people – the promised new life which we share in the Resurrection of Our Living Lord.