Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
“You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached.”
“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
“So she ran… They both ran…”
And so, we have come to the conclusion of another great season of Lent, Holy Week, and Triduum. The journey we have been on for over forty days is concluded and tomorrow we all return to our “normal” lives. Today is the great festival of Easter in which we take so much joy.
I have a memory that always arises around Easter. I was in the fourth grade at Immaculate Conception School in Monrovia, California. Monsignor Dee (of whom I was terribly afraid) came to speak to our class regarding Church history and feast days. He put the question to us, “Which is the greatest holy day of the liturgical year?” And I, sure of my answer and wanting to impress, waved my hand wildly in the air. When called upon I quickly spoke out my answer with great confidence: “Christmas!”
Monsignor Dee glared at me with an imperious eye and declared, “No! Easter is the greatest holy day! For that was when we were all saved! You only say Christmas because you like the gifts and presents you receive!” “But,” I countered with all the wisdom of my 10 years, “Without Christmas, Easter could not have happened!” Needless to say, Monsignor Dee was not impressed. The grades on my report card for both Religious studies and Behavior reflected that incident that semester.
Although as an adult I have come around to Monsignor Dee’s way of thinking, it still seems to me that what comes before Easter Sunday is what makes it the greatest event in our Church year. For to hold the joy of Resurrection Sunday without remembering all that led to it is to deny the reality of Christ’s teaching. The gospel for today does not tell a story of quiet reflection, of sitting in the joyful afterglow of a wonderful event. No! The gospel is filled with running here and there, going in and out of an empty tomb, of not understanding what has been done for us. For it says clearly the disciples believed but do not yet understand. It is only by sharing in the death of the Son, as Paul instructs us in the epistle, or contemplating all of Jesus’ life as, Peter does in the first reading, that we can come to understand what has been accomplished by Christ.
So in my joyful reflection today, I pray that the Father send me understanding of the great gift of His Son. I pray that as I take a break from all my running around to be with family and friends, I remember all that has brought me here. And I give thanks for the greatest holy day in our liturgical year.
Talib Huff works and volunteers at Christ the King Retreat Center in Citrus Heights, California. You may write to him at [email protected].