Good Friday is the day we mourn the death of Christ on the cross, but we also prepare to rejoice in His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Today, we have a Gospel reflection from Deacon DeSousa, the father of one of our community members, on the Resurrection of Jesus.
As difficult as the Resurrection of Jesus is to understand, it is important to note what happened when John and Peter arrived at the tomb as reported in today’s Gospel. They were initially in disbelief, even though Jesus had tried to repeatedly make it clear to them. John, it is said “saw and then he believed.” Eventually, Peter, John, and Mary Magdalene realized the meaning of what Jesus had been telling them that He would rise from the dead. Finally, it all made sense after they saw the empty tomb on that first Easter morning. The Lord has indeed risen! The Lord kept His Word that He will save us from our sins. End of the story? Not quite, for that is where our story begins. We were saved with much pain, and at a great price. A grateful and contrite heart is our response to God especially at Easter. Often, we forget, take for granted, or simply disregard what Our Loving God has done for us. Easter is about gratitude and joy! Let us live grateful lives for we have been saved. Let us also live joyful lives, for we are forgiven and loved.
The season of Easter runs for fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost. We live in a culture that is much bigger on the thrill of anticipation than on savoring the actual experience, and once the celebration is over we are onto thinking about what is next. Once Easter is come and gone, it is onto Memorial Day. There is this desire for looking ahead to what is next, and we miss something by rushing through the moment too quickly. And so to emphasize, prolong, and experience more deeply the joy of Easter, let us observe it in gratitude.
Remembering that today is only the beginning of the Easter Season, make a promise to do something kind for others every day for the next fifty days. Save a plastic Easter egg and keep it on your night stand as a reminder to yourself that each day you are given an opportunity to bring new life to yourself and to others in gratitude by living the call of Jesus. By our very lives, let us be bearers of joy, hope, peace and love to others. Doing so, the Easter story goes on!