Tradition tells us that the place where Jesus died and the place where he was buried are but a stone's throw apart. However, the distance from Golgotha to the tomb and the Resurrection is much, much farther. It's a giant leap of faith. Easter demands that same leap of faith. Otherwise, no amens, no alleluias, no Easter candle, no eggs to color.
Throughout the season of Easter, God's Word comes to us to reveal the meaning of the Resurrection event. It nourishes our faith by explaining the mysteries celebrated at the Vigil of Easter. By making this Word our own, we discover how the Easter mysteries, the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist, make a difference in our lives. We discover anew how Easter shines through and see what the momentous event has to do with us. We discover just how resurrection has "happened" in our lives. We learn that Easter does not simply celebrate what happened to Jesus. It celebrates what happens to us. And we celebrate this wondrous "happening" for fifty days.
Unfortunately, such celebration won't be easy. We're just not used to it. We take our partying in minuscule doses. We start to fade before the Easter lilies do. It'll take some doing to sustain Easter's joy, but it can be done. We can find reconciliation to celebrate in our families. We can find conversion to celebrate in our Church. We can find new life to celebrate in ourselves. We need only take the time to open our eyes and look.
With newly opened eyes, we can discover just how much we belong here and how we have taken on Easter's new life as our own. We can understand that we are one with the risen Lord in his death and resurrection and that the Resurrection suffuses the whole human enterprise and sets it squarely in the heart of God.
So over the next seven weeks, decide to celebrate something new each week. Make a list of your blessings. You'll see that you can find seven things to celebrate. Share your celebration with at least one other person. Now you have fourteen things to celebrate! Come Pentecost, you might be tired, but don't fret. The Holy Spirit comes to ignite a new fire in you and to give you even more to celebrate.
In the meantime and throughout this Easter time, great joy to you and yours! This is the season of blessed celebration! This is a season of glorious new life! Seize it!
[Source: Sunday Bulletin of April 12, 2009; St. Paul Parish, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.]