The Joy of Easter

Can you imagine what it was like for the disciples when they went to the tomb early in the morning?  It would have been dark maybe the early morning sun was beginning to shine. Then they come to the tomb, and the stone has been role away than angels appeared to them and told them. “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised.”  

Can you also imagine what it would be like when the Disciples finally came to realize that Jesus had the victory of death and had risen from the dead? My favorite story of the resurrection comes when Jesus first meets Mary Magdalene outside the tomb. She was weeping when she didn’t know where they took the Lord. Then Jesus appears to her, and she mistook him as a gardener. Then Jesus calls her by name, and she immediately recognizes her. 

Eventually all of his disciples would see the risen Lord and would be filled with joy. However, I think we too can learn from their reaction not immediately but what all of them did for the rest of their lives. The resurrection moved the disciples to courageously proclaim the Gospel even in the face of certain death.  

The Church today celebrates in the joy that our Lord rose from the dead had victory over sin and death and by his death and resurrection. Easter for me it will be a joyful time as well not just at Mass but as well as I go home and in joy celebrate Easter with my family. I hope that many of you will experience the same thing this Easter as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. I know last night many of our seniors were filled with joy as we welcomed one of their classmates into the Catholic Faith. Last night at the Easter Vigil we baptized and confirmed Mason and with joy welcomed into the Catholic Church.   

The Church gives us these great few days to help us enter into the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Good Friday we came into the Church in silence and finished by exiting the Church in silence. It was a great sign to sit in silence and pray with our Lord’s resurrection. Even yesterday, though the Church had no services, the Church remained in silence. Even last night at the Easter Vigil we entered into darkness before finally the single light of Christ came into the Church and chased away the darkness. Through all of this, we got to experience what I think the disciples may have experienced when they first realized that Jesus had risen from the dead, that Jesus had defeated death and brought us salvation. I too hope in the joy of today’s celebration you can feel the same thing. Jesus Christ rose from the dead and death no longer has power over us.  

I don’t know about you, but for me, this joy probably will only last for a couple of days if even that. I know for me I will soon begin to become focused again on preparing for my ordination in just over a month, I will become focused on the next homily I have to preach and so many other things. However, Easter is about our faith and the reason we come to Mass and call ourselves Christian. Without today’s celebration, we would not be Christian at all.  

My challenge for all of us is to allow the joy we are feeling right now for Easter to continue to move our hearts. Use it to grow in our faith and to continue to seek to follow God’s will for our lives. I hope all of you have a happy Easter and I hope you can enjoy Easter with your families as well. However, don’t forget the reason we come together in this Church. Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and because of that he has defeated death and brought us to eternal life. May the Joy of Easter be in all of our hearts and help us to follow more and more after Jesus Christ!  

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