Easter begins! We can now sing “Alleluia” proudly and joyfully, after waiting for the past six weeks. Easter is a lengthy season - fifty days of celebrations - the longest season in the Church’s liturgical calendar. These 50 days of Easter - between Easter Sunday and Pentecost - is the time to rejoice in the Risen Lord, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad” (Ps 118:24).
In the next few weeks, we will encounter scriptural texts of the disciples encountering the Risen Lord until His Ascension, while awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. We will also encounter texts that speak of the birth of early churches (Acts 2) and the gifts of the Holy Spirit - inviting us to live as true and faithful disciples. It is a time to enhance our spiritual experiences, which we have undergone during the season of Lent and, fittingly, become fully alive in faith and in the life of the Church.
After completing the Lenten observances, we stand together at the beginning of the Easter season and hold lit candles to renew our baptismal promises. We reject Satan and all his works and empty promises and profess our faith. It expresses our loyalty and belief in One God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, in the communion of saints, forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Through this renewal of promises, we will celebrate new life in the Risen Lord, and promise to serve Him faithfully in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church (CCC 811).
Every person experiences Lent in a great and different way, especially when it comes to spiritual growth. Personally, I cannot say how I have lived out this Lent, as it went by so quickly. It seems like there wasn’t time for much impact in my spiritual life, apart from dutifully observing the Lenten practices. I may have slackened in working out my weaknesses and realising the need for the Grace of God in order to grow in prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
I realise I didn’t give myself enough opportunity, nor did I make a concerted effort, to strengthen my prayer life and priestly ministry. It seems like it may have been a situation where I didn’t walk the talk. Perhaps my actions have been less than perfect and I may have slacked in actively pursuing my faith. However, I know that my Church has never said that I can only return when I am perfect! I also know that the Risen Lord asks that I be fruitful and willing to open my heart to the light, joy and victory of Easter.
Easter is a culmination of our faith in the Risen Lord, as He opens the door for us to experience new life in Him. He repeatedly welcomes us with open arms, to live our faith. Let’s look forward to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to grow in our relationship with Jesus, our Church and our community.
HAVE A VERY BLESSED EASTER! MAY THIS SEASON BRING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY NEWNESS AND FRESHNESS IN FAITH