The season of Easter. What do we think about it? We all know that Lent is celebrated [or do most of us use that word “celebrate” when it comes to Lent?] for forty days – a full season of special attention to prayer, fasting and almsgiving. And Easter comes, and then what? One of my religious brothers, Fr. Joseph Aytona, during his homily at the Easter Vigil this year said that “it’s all about the bunny.” We all chuckled – isn’t it true that for most Americans, Easter is about the “Easter bunny” and getting chocolates, and that is about it?
Easter is more than one day in which we remember the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the tomb. It is a full liturgical season (50 days long!) in which we commemorate in a special way this event by which Our Blessed Lord destroyed death and restored us to Life – to real Life, a spiritual life of union with God which begins here on earth, but is destined to continue forever in heaven (assuming that we correspond with God’s grace and persevere until the end, of course).
How can we celebrate Easter better? It might be a good idea to try to meditate a little bit, each day, on the Resurrection, and its meaning for our lives – that we, too, will share in that risen life with Christ at the end of time – that where He has gone, we are called to follow. We might want to read the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection (the last two chapters of each Gospel) during this holy season. Maybe we could read and meditate on the ancient liturgical hymns used by the Church for the feast of Easter: these would include the Exsultet (sung by the priest or deacon at the beginning of the Easter Vigil Mass) and the Victimae Paschale Laudes (sung before the Gospel on Easter morning). Both of these ancient hymns have riches for our devout meditation during this holy season.
May each of you have a most holy season of Easter, and please pray for me as I will be preaching some Easter season missions in Australia during this next month. God bless you!