As a child, Easter was, and still is, my favorite liturgical season. The solemn days leading up to Easter were filled our home with quiet anticipation of the Resurrection. I have to admit, like every other kid, that I looked forward to the Easter basket with the chocolate malt eggs, marshmallow chicks and a large hallow chocolate bunny with sugar eyes. As I grew, I came to appreciate the deeper meaning of the Triduum and Easter Sunday. There was a deep sense of joy and hope as I walked into our parish and saw the light flooding the sanctuary that was full of Easter lilies and all other types of spring flowers. The many Alleluias that were sung renewed my energy and strength.
When Peter addressed the Jewish people who had gathered to hear his words they were shocked and moved to know the Risen Christ for themselves. The Holy Spirit had given the Apostles a renewed energy and strength to preach the message of the Risen Christ. Peter was ready with specific actions for the people to follow. “Repent, be baptized, be forgiven, receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” Their Easter time was filled with a renewed faith and hope to which Christ had called them. They had opened their hearts to hear the message of Peter and the Apostles and, “about three thousand persons were added that day.”
What has been renewed within me during the days proceeding Easter?
Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb to find it empty and she is so full of fear and grief that she will not step into the tomb to see what has happened. Angels ask her, “Why are you weeping?” She states her confusing about Jesus’ missing body and turns around and hears another person asking her, “why are you weeping?” and adds “Whom are you looking for?” She does not recognize to whom she is speaking with until Jesus calls her by her name. Her grief is overcome by joy of seeing her “Teacher”, her “Rabbouni”. The first person in all four Gospels to see the Risen Christ. The first person to experience the energy and strength that comes from the Resurrection. She did not ask him any questions and without hesitation carries the message that Jesus had given her. She tells the Apostles, “I have seen the Lord” and tells them what she has experienced.
How have I heard the Risen Christ call my name?
What energy and strength has been/will be stirred up within me during the Easter Season?
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Linda Schork is a theology teacher at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky.