The Relevance of Easter: A Joyful Recollection of An Easter Sunday
In non-tropical countries, Easter season occurs during springtime, the season of the year when cold days are fading and sun starts shining brightly, rivers coming back to life, animals are roaming again freely from hibernation, lifeless brown trunks starting to put on leaves and flowers blooming once again. What a sight to behold! What a beautiful time to appreciate God’s creations!
The said scenery is still the same even now, but only thing not everyone can afford to go, see and relish the magic that spring brings along and the beauty of nature because of the presence of this terrible Covid-19 virus.
May I share with you instead one of the memorable and joyful events about the Easter season which happened during my childhood days. During those days, people looked forward to celebrating Easter Sunday to witness the re-enactment of the meeting of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. I remember I went with my mother and siblings during the wee hours (4 a.m.) of the morning to watch a liturgical play wherein one of the highlights was the said meeting or encounter (“salubong”) of the Blessed Mother and the Resurrected Jesus. Coming from opposite direction, the images of Mary (covered with a black cloth) and Jesus (both placed on carros or carrosas or carrozas or floats) converged at a designated place. Throngs of people accompanied Jesus’ group while the rest was with the group of the Virgin Mary. As soon as they arrived at the meeting place, an angel (a little girl chosen among the select few to portray the character) standing on a suspended platform took off the black veil from Mary while the people were singing. Innocent child as I was, this particular event amazed me, brought goose bumps and joy into my heart, primarily due to the festive atmosphere and with the belief that Jesus has indeed risen, as in He is no longer dead (the real thing, alive in person) – that was my belief during my younger days!
As I grew up, this event unfolded to include other rituals such as the blessing of the oil and water outside the church and the candle lighting ceremony where candles held by the people in the church are lit by the holy flame or the so-called Paschal candle.
While the said ceremonies are considered sacred, these are merely symbolic, after getting clarifications about our faith through the years. The true meaning of Easter, the time where all of us (as one priest said in one of the homilies) should start to be the rays of hope to the downtrodden and the hopeless, the lighted candles in the middle of darkness, and the helping hands to show compassion to the poor and the abandoned. That is the essence of Easter, the glory of Jesus Resurrection, and for this we have the valid reason to be glad and rejoice!
As we marked this great feast of Easter Sunday, let us recall the many wondrous deeds and favors God has granted in our lives. How many miracles did we receive so far from Him, regardless of the magnitude? What favors and prayer requests have been answered by Him? When were the times that He healed us? I have not been so vocal about God’s responses to the said hows, whats and the whens, but I would like to tell you all that He has provided me many wonderful things in all aspects of my life, despite my imperfections, weaknesses and shortcomings. I am sure God has acknowledged the gratefulness of my heart and all these deeply touched me. I know in my heart that God will have answers to my other petitions, together with my husband and our family and friends, in the long run, in His time.
And so today is the appropriate time for us to start returning the favors to our Creator and Savior. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, let us offer our praise, honor and glory that He so deserves by giving and sharing to those in need the light, hope and love provided us by God and at the same time renewing our own lives to the fullest for Christ’s sake.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. (see Psalm 118:24). Let us rejoice the new life that God has given us. We have been reborn, we have pledged anew our Baptismal vows and the profession of our faith during the virtual Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday mass. Let us rejoice and be glad because we are the 21st century followers of Christ, the “Easter” people and let’s claim it. Let us rejoice and be glad because Christ is alive, He is with us, He is within our Church. Let us rejoice and be glad on our Lord’s Resurrection which brings us so many graces and blessings, we have been cleansed from our sins with a renewed hope, and a deepened faith which will serve as our armor to battle evildoings and challenges in life such as this Covid-19 pandemic.
Thank you our dear loving and merciful God for this Easter Sunday. Thank you Lord Jesus for giving us, Your 21st century followers, the needed faith, hope and strength particularly during these trying times. We beseech for your mercy and compassion, that with You as our Risen Lord alive in our hearts, we pray that we will be given second chances to begin all over again, and do good things and to be much better followers of Yours. We pray Lord that this pandemic will be gone soon, so that we shall be able to continue serving You by sharing love and life with others that we receive from You. Amen.
As Easter is a joyful ending to Jesus Christ’s sufferings, we hope and pray that all of us will still be able to appreciate God’s creations especially during Easter and spring time, that we will put a smile on our faces with the Risen Lord bringing us the Good News and promising all of us of His love, mercy and compassion, just like those days, the younger days, when I experienced a joyful Easter celebration, feeling amazed and happy about Easter Sunday!
A blessed, joyful and meaningful Easter Sunday to you all!!!
The featured photo above were the Easter greeting cards made by the kids in school for their loved ones.
p.s. Thank you Lord for these blessings we got today, on Easter Sunday. What an Easter Sunday gifts. Thank you and may God bless you more….