ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!
Jesus Christ is risen today! Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day. Alleluia!
Who did once upon the Cross. Alleluia!
Suffered to redeem our loss. Alleluia!
Hymns of praise then let us sing. Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King. Alleluia!
Who endured the Cross and grave. Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!
The gift of Easter is the joyous hope that we all receive with Jesus rising from the dead. During this the fifty days of this beautiful Season of Easter, Jesus awakens us to the new life all around us. As we hear at the Masses for Easter, “Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth,” “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord,” or “You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.”
Pope Francis says to us, “Because Jesus rose, we will rise; we have hop of resurrection because He has opened for us the door of resurrection. And this transformation, this transfiguration of our bodies, is prepared for in this life by our relationship with Jesus in the Sacraments, especially in the Eucharist.” (General Audience, St. Peter’s Square, December 4th, 2013)
Jesus is always there for us! He never gives up on His great love for each one of us. As we sing in the hymn, “Christ Be Our Light,” “Christ be our Light! Shine in our hearts, Shine through the darkness. Christ be our Light! Shine in your Church gathered today.”
Did we do our part? Did we do what Jesus calls us to do during Lent? Did we pray? Talking to God should be something we do each day as we wake up in the morning, during the day as we begin our work, eat our lunch, or need God’s help to stay focused on our work, before any new learning, and of course, before eating snack or dinner, giving thanks and praise to God for the food He provides us each day. Did we take the time to pray in Church or at home for all those in need of our prayers, especially our family and friends, putting their needs before our own! And then For ourselves, knowing that whatever is before us, we will always need God by our side. There is a sentence that comes to mind, “Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that You and I together can’t handle.”
Our second question should be, “Did I fast?” We certainly can fast from favorite foods which do not let us keep healthy, but thinking of others, did we fast from hurting others with our words and actions? Did we fast from using words that were inappropriate? Not honoring God or being the person God made us to be? Did we fast from not doing our daily jobs that we should, such as not helping at home with our family, or doing our work at a job or at school. Did we take the time to listen to a friend who has a problem or a worry, helping them in any way we could? Did we do the same for a family member? Jesus was always there for anyone! He may not of approved of everything they did, but He took the time to listen to them and help them in any way He could!
What about almsgiving? Were we there for anyone in need? We have a hymn that we sing at Mass during Lent, helping us to think about those who have less than we do, “Whatsoever You Do.” This hymn reminds us of the words of Jesus, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto Me.” Do we give food and water to the hungry? Do we think about the people who do not have a home or a safe place to live? Do we provide clothing for the poor? Do we spend time and listen to their problems, finding ways or people to help them? What do we do for all those who live alone or live in a prison? Do we take the time to communicate with them by writing a letter or sending a card?
Jesus gave up His life for us because He loves us so much! We can see that when we look at the Cross. He was there for us and He would like us to be there for others. This is truly the gift of Easter! Jesus died for us and gave us new life so that one day we will join Him in heaven! Can we be there for others so that they can lead a better life? Can we share all that Jesus teaches us with them? Can we help them develop a relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit? Can we invite them to go to Mass with us? This would truly be a Happy Easter for all of us, filled with many blessings!
And of course, we celebrate Easter by seeing all the gifts of new life around us, especially in the flowers, the new human and animal life, the gift of new fruits and vegetables, the trees budding and growing, the green grass, and the beautiful cumulus clouds in the sky against the blue sky, and we quickly know that God has renewed the face of the earth with new life!
Yes, the gift of new life is all around us if we but take the time to find it. The gift of Easter is alive in all the earth as well as the Church. Jesus rose from the dead, and His resurrection gives us new life! He has been our Great Teacher, showing us the way to gain eternal life in heaven as we follow His words, “Love one another as I have loved you.” “Christ, our Light. Thanks be to God.”
May we all find the blessings of Easter as we come to Mass and receive Jesus in the Eucharist, see the new light enter the Church and share it with our candles we will light at the Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday. From the blessing of the new Paschal Candle with the new Holy Water, sharing all of this with our family and friends, we will truly share a Happy Easter with everyone!
Yes, Jesus overcame death on a Cross, rising to new life. May we find Christ alive in all those around us and share His gifts of love, sharing, and caring with our family, friends, and all of God’s family on this earth!
May all of you find the gift of new life and the many blessings that Jesus has given us at Easter in the Church, in your homes, and the world we live in. May you all see the gifts that Jesus has given us not only in the Season of Easter, but throughout the year. May your hearts always want to sing out, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
May the blessings of Easter be with each of you!