One day a teacher asked her First Grade class what was the meaning of Easter. One little girl raised her hand and responded: “Easter is the day when Jesus rose from the dead and had Easter eggs for breakfast.”
We don’t really know what Jesus had for breakfast on Easter Sunday morning. But I know in my head that Easter is the greatest day of the year for a Christian – the day Jesus was raised from the dead. By rising from the dead our Savior Jesus conquered sin and death for all of us.
Yet how many of us woke up this Easter morning filled with the wonder of Jesus’ resurrection? I bet all of us woke up this morning with nothing but the coronavirus pandemic on our minds. The vast majority of us woke up this Easter morning feeling crabby, isolated, restless, lonely, sad and discouraged, instead of feeling the hope, joy, peace and new life that the Church invites us to experience.
I have to stop and shake myself to realize that Easter is so much more than a feeling moment.
EASTER IS A FAITH MOMENT!!
Easter doesn’t have all the warm fuzzy feelings of Christmas – the carols, cookies, trees, parties and presents. Easter does have a Risen Jesus, an alive Jesus – who calls each of us to have a person-to-person encounter with him. This might well be the best part of Easter, 2020 for each of us, the part that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
We will not be with our family and friends this Easter. But we will be in a person-to-person encounter with the Risen Jesus LIKE NEVER BEFORE IN OUR LIVES – UP CLOSE AND REALLY PERSONAL! Who else is there, this Easter? We will be like Mary Magdalene at the Empty Tomb on Easter Morning – Alone, but Not Alone – Alone with Jesus!
The Risen Jesus calls you and me to BE an Easter Person this year.
This means that the same POWER that raised Jesus from the dead can be yours and mine today and every day of our lives.
When we feel HOPE – LESS, we can become HOPE – PLUS. The PLUS is the Risen Jesus, his silent POWER in us. The spread of the coronavirus has left most of us feeling POWER – LESS. The Risen Jesus gives us exactly what we need in these times when so much of our world is shut down. He gives us POWER, SPIRITUAL – POWER. We can become like the Energizer Bunny….We keep on GOING and GOING and GOING. Our spiritual battery is the Risen Jesus.
Maybe you feel like me. In my whole life I’ve never really had one big, bang-up Easter, that was anything like Christmas. But I have had a lot of “Little Easters,” moments when I felt such hope stirring inside of me……
When I placed the precious, new-born baby boy of an unwed mother in the arms of the adoptive parents that God and I had chosen for him.
When the oncologist said my cousin was cancer-free after years of chemotherapy. She was once loaded with cancer.
When we paid off the mortgage of our church building in three years when everybody said it would take fifteen years.
Silently I shouted – HOORAY!! God is alive and God loves me so very much!! ALLELUIA!! These are moments when whatever has died in me is raised to new life again.
Sometime today, when you feel isolated and alone, take a good, long look at all the family pictures lining your walls and on your dressers. See all of the Little Easters you have had throughout your life.
One teenage girl went to visit her grandmother who was ill. The girl brought her a beautiful rose and said, “I want you to know I love you.” As she kissed her grandmother’s cheek, tears welled up in her grandmother’s eyes. Grandma reached into her pocket and took out a crisp $50 bill. “Take this,” she said with grateful eyes.
“But grandma,” she said, “I brought you this rose because I love you.”
“I know, honey,” she replied. “This is just a little tip for bringing me so much happiness.”
HAPPY EASTER!! HAPPY LITTLE EASTERS!! ALLELUIA!!
Fr. Med Laz