Still Celebrating Easter
Saturday, 11 May 2019
We are celebrating the 4th Sunday of Easter this weekend. How are we celebrating it? In the sanctuary, we still have the Easter Candle and the priest and deacon still wear white vestments. These show us that we are still in that Easter Joy!
We are still celebrating the Lord Jesus rising from the dead and alive again! We are still celebrating how His light shatters the darkness of sin, despair, hopelessness, and darkness. We are still celebrating how He breaks the chains of sin and brings us freedom, how He brings us through trial and tribulation into the promised land!
In the Preface right before the priest begins the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest prays, “Therefore, overcome with Paschal joy, every land, every people exults in your praise….” When we attend mass, sometimes the words are lost on us because we hear them so often or we miss them because one of the children is climbing on the pew or under the pews or we tune out for a minute or so and miss them. No matter the reason (and it happens with each of us – even the priests!), it is good to be reminded of what we hear, what we pray, and what the priest prays on our behalf.
We are, in this season of Easter, “overcome with paschal joy.” Paschal means having to do with Easter. It comes from the Latin word paschalis which stems from pascha meaning the feast of Passover. This comes from the Hebrew Pesah meaning Passover. This is the joy we have, the Passover joy, the joy of freedom and redemption, the joy of life and light! Are we overcome with this joy? Are we overcome with all the God has done for us? Do we stop for a moment to think of what he has done so that we might be overcome? Easter is the time to do this.
When we stop and allow ourselves to be overcome with this joy, is no wonder that “every land, every people exults” in praise of Almighty God! We sing with exultation! The whole earth resounds with praise as we celebrate the Goodness of our God! Gratitude fills our hearts and souls when we see the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness of our God all around us, in our relationships, in each other, in nature, and permeating through this world!
Pope Saint John Paul II said in his Angelus message in November of 1986, “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.” Overcome with this joy, may that song be ever on our lips. Joy should mark our lives and shine forth from us as we live as disciples of Jesus Christ!
May the joy of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ resound in your heart and in the heart of each of your loved ones this week and throughout this Easter Season!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin