A Reflection on Easter

Reflect

In these days of Easter, we shall often hear Jesus’ words resound: “I am risen and I am with you always”. Echoing this good news, the Church proclaims exultantly: “Yes, we are certain! The Lord is truly risen, alleluia! The power and the glory are His, now and forever”. The whole Church rejoices, expressing her sentiments by singing: “This is the day of Our Lord Jesus Christ”. In fact, in rising from the dead, Jesus inaugurated His eternal day and has opened the door to our joy, too. “I will not die”, He says, “but will have everlasting life”. The crucified Son of Man, the stone rejected by the builders, has now become the solid foundation of the new spiritual edifice which is the Church, His mystical Body. The People of God, which has Christ as its invisible Head, is destined to grow in the course of the centuries until the complete fulfillment of the plan of salvation. Then the whole of humanity will be incorporated into Him and every existing reality will be penetrated with His total victory. Then, as St. Paul writes, He will be “the fullness of him who fills all in all” (cf. Ephesians 1:23), and “God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).

Thus it is right for us to rejoice, all of us, because the Resurrection of the Lord assures us that the divine plan of salvation, despite all the obscurity of history, will certainly be brought about. This is why His Passover truly is our hope. And we, risen with Christ through Baptism, must now follow Him faithfully in holiness of life, advancing towards the eternal Passover, sustained by the knowledge that the difficulties, struggles, and trials of human life, including death, henceforth can no longer separate us from Him and His love. His Resurrection has formed a bridge between the world and eternal life over which every man can cross to reach the true goal of our earthly pilgrim-age.

“I am risen, and I am with you always”. This assurance of Jesus is realized above all in the Eucharist; it is in every Mass that the Church and each one of her members experiences His living presence and benefits from the full richness of His love. In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the risen Lord is present and mercifully strengthens us for our journey towards our eternal home; He nourishes us spiritually and infuses us with strength to withstand the harsh trials of life and the fight against sin and evil. He is the sturdy support in our pilgrimage towards the eternal dwelling place in Heaven. May the Virgin Mary, who experienced beside her divine Son every phase of His mission on earth, help us to welcome with faith the gift of Easter and make us faithful and joyful witnesses of the risen Lord.

Act

Our Fraternity is blessed to have received from the Church the rites of Holy Week, particularly the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday). Even though these rites and customs only palely reflect their ancient origins, they still clearly manifest the journey of mankind from the fall of Adam to his restoration in Christ.

Holy Week for us is more than fasting and Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. It is an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the history of the chosen people to better understand the message of the Gospel. This is best demonstrated on Good Friday with the singing of the Passion and on Holy Saturday with the lessons and the blessing of Easter and Baptismal water.

Pray

It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For Christ has ransomed us with His blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin
to our eternal Father!

This is our passover feast when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
Whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night when first Thou didst save our fathers:
Thou didst free the people of Israel from their slavery
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night when the pillar of fire
destroyed the darkness of sin!
This is the night when Christians everywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night when Jesus Christ
broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?

Father, how wonderful Thy care for us!
How boundless Thy merciful love!
To ransom a slave
Thou gavest away thy Son.

O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights, chosen by God
to see Christ rising from the dead!

Of this night Scripture says:
“The night will be as clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy.”

The power of this holy night
dispels all evil, washes guilt away,
restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed when Heaven is wedded to earth
and man is reconciled with God!
Therefore, Heavenly Father, in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
Thy Church’s solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.

Let it mingle with the lights of Heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!

May the morning Star, which never sets,
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star, Who arose from the dead,
and shed His peaceful light on all mankind,
Thy Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

R. Amen.