We are an Easter People

April 22, 2018

The Easter Season lasts from Easter Sunday through Pentecost.  During this time, we often hear that “We are an Easter people,” but do we really understand the meaning of this?

“On the first day of the week” indicates the day after the Sabbath and is often the opening line of the Gospel during Easter.  It is on this first day of the week that Jesus was resurrected.  The early Church adopted this first day as Sunday. Therefore, every Sunday during the year is our “little Easter Sunday” because “This is the day that the Lord has made.” Psalm 118 

Many, and I mean many, people crowd the churches on Easter Sunday. Most really dress up for the occasion, the churches are decorated beautifully, and the choirs pull out all the stops for this great feast. It is truly festive.  But above all of this is the Good News of Resurrection, which brings new meaning to our human existence.  Because this is how we celebrate Easter, to be an “Easter people” is to celebrate with this same spirit and festivity every Sunday!  And although in life there are moments of sorrow, the joy of Easter must pierce through these moments and fill us with profound joy and hope in our God.

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday, celebrating the fact that God is always with us.  In ancient times, sheep were raised more for wool than meat, so the shepherd is with the sheep for a lifetime, 24/7.

In our human reality, death seems to be the end of a person.  Even if we believe in life after death, in this life we are permanently separated from that person.  God remains in heaven, the dead are wherever they are, and we remain on earth.  However, that separation is destroyed by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  God is not in some far away heaven but is with us here always.  The Apostles recognized Jesus through the breaking of the bread.  It is how we recognize the Real Presence of Jesus now.

“I am the Resurrection and the life…” through the Person of Jesus, the entire human race is united.  Sunday Mass is not a private affair but a communal celebration.  It is not “my private time to pray” but a “family gathering” in love.

Today is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations Day.  Just as Jesus commissioned the Apostles to continue his mission, he commissions

Kathryn Richards