A Joyful 50-Day Period: Yes, It’s Still Easter Time!
Hi Guys, how did you spend your Easter days so far? Hope you are all having a blast having quality and wonderful time with your loved ones but likewise working on the progress of your spiritual journey, your relationship with God. Was it an enlightening experience? For those who have not been able to have “special” moment to be alone with God and have not been able to do good works during this Easter season as of yet, no need to worry, it is never too late as there are still remaining “Easter” days (about 4 weeks more) for you to reflect on and celebrate the true meaning of the mystery of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Yes, it is still Easter time! Easter celebration is normally held on Easter Sunday (referred to as Great Sunday), a day of feasting and rejoicing wherein each one has its own tradition of celebrating this special day with fun activities and with family and friends. For Catholics, however, Easter is primarily a season of joy, giving everyone an opportunity to express gratefulness to God for His death on the Cross and the gifts of redemption and salvation. Thus, the season of Easter does not stop during Easter Sunday but it is observed for a 50-day period, and as we go through the journey, it forms part of our daily norm to live by.
In the Catholic Church calendar, Easter is one of the important seasons, in fact it is the core of the Church’s liturgical year. As you may probably know, Easter season kicks off with the celebration of Easter Vigil and it concludes after 50 days on Pentecost Sunday. Hence, for this year, Easter started on the 4rth of April and will end on the 23rd of May. Since Easter primarily pertains to the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ which is such a significant part of the Church history and our Catholic Christian faith, it is only but proper to celebrate and recognize the said event longer and with greatest joy.
Yes, it is still Easter time! And that’s the reason why the “Alleluias” are currently being acclaimed at the end of the mass and while praying the Angelus. The Alleluia is in essence the act of exulting and praising God for His greatness and glory. During the season of Easter, when the officiating priest at the end of the mass says: “Go in the peace of Christ, Alleluia, Alleluia,” the response is: Thanks be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia. This is one of the distinct characteristics of the mass during Easter time vis-a-vis other liturgical seasons of the year. Based on accounts, the term “Alleluia” has traditionally been viewed as the Angels’ way of praising God in Heaven. We praise Jesus for His sacrifice and He gave up His life because of His love for us. He is the Emannuel, the Redeemer. And so, when we participate in the singing and in reciting “Alleluia” during the mass, it is as if we are joining the Angels in praising and worshiping God in Heaven. With that being said, I thought we are effectively being granted by God the privilege while still on earth to experience a “heavenly” activity of joyfully singing God’s praise whenever we attend and participate in the singing and reciting the Alleluia at the Holy Eucharist celebration. Oh, wouldn’t it also be such a nice treat if merely by singing worship songs for God during our respective prayer time would provide the same privilege and indulgence of singing with the angels in Heaven? Ah, only God knows.
Yes, it is still Easter time! As Catholics, the Holy Eucharist reminds us of the real presence of Jesus here on earth, dwelling in our hearts and in our minds through the Holy Spirit. The Easter Season is the time where we are the opportunity to go back to our Lord God and gear up to live as His true and faithful followers. To live the spirit of the Easter season is to live with faith and joy, without fear, starting with a clean slate and a brand new spiritual life.
And if we fail to experience that sense of newness and joy in life last Easter Sunday for some reasons, the remaining days of the Easter season provides the opportunity to obtain God’s immense and never ending mercy for our transgressions by going back to Him through the Sacrament of Penance, and by doing good works, particularly helping those in need. And coupled with the Easter joy-filled feeling, with renewed and deepened faith in God, we’ll surely be able to overcome said challenges even in the midst of sadness and setbacks. So, for the remaining days, we are encouraged to reflect on, listen to Him in prayer, and celebrate Jesus Resurrection with the end view that God wants us all to be with Him in His Kingdom.
Yes, it is still Easter time! Christ is risen. Indeed, He is risen. The Easter season invites us all, particularly the young people who are considered to be the hope of tomorrow to joyfully celebrate the new life in Jesus Christ. It is unfortunate however that most of the young generation throughout the world are much less religious compared to the older ones. In one of the surveys conducted by Pew Research Center, younger adults, especially in U.S. and Canada are less likely to be identified with a religion or any religious related practices. This is a sad development and we could attribute this to several factors, and one of which is the family dynamics. As you see, the basic things and lessons in life are first learned within the four walls of our homes, straight from our parents. And this is where parental guidance is important in the child’s development.
Pope Francis once reminded the youth that our Lord Jesus Christ is alive, as such, God wants them to be alive too. The Holy Father mentioned that the Risen Christ will always be a friend, a welcoming one who will never abandon them. He called on the youth to return to God and to always trust in Him even in the middle of their messes as He will take it over and lift them up. Similarly, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle in one of his previous talks, echoed the Holy Father’s message and called on the youth to “open their hearts”, and not to shy away from Jesus as He cleanses them of their sins and troubles.
Yes, it is still Easter Time! And as followers of Jesus Christ, we ought to be joyful people, Easter people! As the Holy Father stated, “Do not be men and women of sadness” since a “Christian can never be sad”. There is no reason for us to be sad because Jesus is in our midst. As Christians who have been blessed to spread the faith, we ought to show that gift of Easter joy and open our hearts to someone who wants to find hope and light in the cracks and crevices of life, especially the needs of the vulnerable, the poor, the marginalized, the sick and the abandoned.
Indeed, it is still Easter time! We can freely greet, give our smiles to everyone and even pray for them particularly during these challenging times wherein Covid-19 pandemic still remains an unfolding crisis. We pray for the countries that are still being ravaged by Covid-19 virus and its variants, especially India which currently struggles to save lives.
Once again, a continuing meaningful Easter to you all! May everyone live the call to Easter joy!