Happy Easter! The LORD is risen, Alleluia! Alleluia!
I have a monthly subscription to a magazine entitled Living with Christ. It contains the readings for each day of the month as well as some articles pertaining to the spiritual life. This month, its editor, Dan Connors, has written a brief article called “Overcome with Paschal Joy …? Tapping into Easter’s Unique Vision of Reality” which I found very helpful and would like to share, in part, with you.
Look at the words that conclude all the special Prefaces for the Eucharistic Prayers in the Easter season. On the surface they make no sense. They describe the entire world “overcome with paschal joy,” with “every land, every people” exulting. Really? Has the Church read the news lately?
This prayer only makes sense when we tap into realities deeper than just what we see around us. Christians speak of Sunday as the Eighth Day – not just the start of a new week, but the glorious beginning of a whole new creation spanning and uniting heaven and earth. When we gather at Sunday Mass, the whole Church and all the “heavenly Powers” are there with us – and we are with them at the heavenly banquet of the Lamb, standing outside regular time and immersing ourselves in the paradox of simultaneously being, and still becoming, the glorious, risen body of Christ.
Only faith can see this. And as we repeat these Preface words again and again throughout the Easter Season – the Great Sunday and Eighth Day of our year – they can spark our minds to savor the deeper reality that, while still pilgrims on earth, we also “sing together the unending hymn.” And that surely is a reason for paschal joy.
Easter Sunday, then, is the greatest of all Sundays, and Easter Time is the most important of all liturgical times. Easter is the celebration of the Lord's resurrection from the dead, culminating in his Ascension to the Father and sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. There are 50 days of Easter from the first Sunday to Pentecost which we celebrate on June 8.
I hope all of you spent Easter day with peace and joy in your hearts and homes. May this Easter season remind us that with God all things are possible for each of us.
Attending Mass each Sunday (or Saturday evening) will help us nurture awareness of the deeper, lasting realities in life for ourselves and more importantly for our children. An awareness of these realities will help the children now, certainly, but will be most useful to them as they mature into adulthood and must discern what God is calling them to do with their lives. Knowing and understanding these deeper realities will help our children in making good choices throughout their lifetimes. Don’t deprive them of the most important opportunity we can provide for them. Help them to have a relationship with our God – Jesus. Attend Mass as a family each week!