Halleluiah! Halleluiah! Halleluiah! Christ is RISEN!
From Easter Sunday (April 20th) to Pentecost Sunday (June 8th) we are celebrating EASTER. That’s right – it isn’t just a ONE day celebration, but a FIFTY day joyous event because our GOD has literally RISEN from the DEAD.
A NEW SEASON
For most Catholics, we’re great at diving into the depths of the Lenten season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Many of us enjoy the ashes, the purple, and the challenge of the commitments we’ve set for ourselves. This is great, but we (myself included) often FAIL to embrace the JOY of the EASTER season. We often become people that are really GREAT at Lent, but are “so-so” at Easter.
Around Ash Wednesday we think about “what we’re going to do special for Lent”, but how many of us think, “what am I going to do to become closer to the RISEN Christ for EASTER?” Lent is about returning to Christ, which is great in its time and season, but the Resurrection gives us the access to be WITH Him, WALK with Him, and ENCOUNTER Him at every moment. Let’s CELEBRATE.
With EASTER in the driver’s seat for the next few weeks take some time to embrace the JOY of being a person whose GOD has RISEN from the DEAD. BELIEVE IT, of course, but “Holy Easter Batman…ACT like it!” There are numerous ways to do this. Here are a few suggestions…
Read the post-Resurrection stories of Jesus. There are numerous accounts of Christ appearing to the apostles after His Resurrection. There may even be a few stories that you haven’t even heard before! Work backwards from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and pray with these stories throughout the EASTER season. Imagine the Resurrected Christ. Who He is, how He acts, and what He says. His Resurrected LIFE will begin to LIVE within your heart.
Eat some sugar. Easter is a time to feast! Enjoy a good dessert, candy, etc. with the JOY of the Resurrection in mind. You always have to watch something like this so you don’t become overindulgent, but take time to enjoy some turtle cheesecake.
Wake up to a good Psalm. There are numerous Psalms that focus on PRAISE. No matter where you are in your life you should take a moment to give Him glory for His Resurrection. Choose a psalm to wake up to every morning this EASTER. There are many great psalms of praise from which to choose. Psalm 95 is a favorite of mine. Choose one of PRAISE and have it be the first thing you do when your alarm goes off.
Pour your heart out. What we’re celebrating is the reality that the Christ who rose from the dead 2,000 years ago was encountered by His apostles. They actually SAW Him and TOUCHED Him (1 John 1:1-3). This same Jesus can be encountered everyday through personal prayer. Commit to pouring your heart out to Him in daily prayer so that you too can encounter Him the way the SAINTS have for 2,000 years.
There are many more ways to encounter Him this Easter, but this will at least get you started: Be creative! OH, and ENJOY your cheesecake.
By Pete Burds
Director of Evangelization