By Vir Christi
“He is not here; He is risen. Come, see the place where He lay” (Matthew 28:6). What joyous news! How our hearts should sing as we hear that sentence proclaimed aloud to us in the Gospel on Easter Sunday morning! How the hearts of the disciples must have soared as they began to realize that something truly remarkable was happening! But we Catholics know that we aren’t just celebrating a distant event in our faith history. The Resurrection is now.
Embrace the Resurrection
Lent is a season of sacrifice and penance. It’s a time for us to shed attachment to practices and possessions that keep us from growing closer to the Lord. Easter, on the other hand, is a season of new beginnings. It’s a time for us to allow the blossoming of the spiritual seeds that Lent sowed in our hearts, and also to allow the restoration of that which was broken. The cry “He is risen!” is not a far-distant memory, but rather a spiritual call to arms for the present age. The Resurrection is now.
How can we embrace the Resurrection? Dive deep within yourself and face the old wounds that you know you have. Give yourself permission to be healed from them. Allow the Lord in to do His work. Like Jesus carrying the marks of the nails and the spear, we will always carry the scars of our old wounds with us. But, if we allow the Lord into our hearts, we have an opportunity to turn those scars into marks of victory rather than perpetual horrors.
How else do we embrace the Resurrection? Think of a relationship in your life that has broken or soured, and that could be realistically repaired (discounting extraordinary circumstances like abuse). Challenge yourself to go be reconciled with that person, and allow for new fruit and growth that couldn’t have flourished while it was broken. God has reconciled us to Himself, and we must follow the example of Our Teacher to seek reconciliation with other people. Relationships are only repaired when someone is courageous enough to take the initiative. Be that person. The Resurrection is now.
Witness to the People Around You
Easter is the holiest feast in the liturgical calendar. For good reason! On that morning, the Lord shattered the power of death to have the final say. The devil can rage and storm and tempt, but his authority is smashed beyond recognition, and the gates of Heaven stand wide open for all those who earnestly seek to enter. That should give us a spirit of lasting joy. And what good is joy if it can’t be shared? So share it with the people around you! The Resurrection is now.
If we all examine our lives, we’ll all find “Easter moments,” times where we thought all hope was lost and then the Lord delivered us through a difficult trial. Take the spirit of joy that you felt in that moment, and use that when you’re telling people about the Risen Lord. Jesus Christ rose from the dead so that each of us would personally have the ability to follow Him into Heaven. That is news that shouldn’t just be spoken, but should be shouted from the mountaintop! The Resurrection is now.
Find one person in your life who has had a hard go of things lately. They’ll be easy to spot; they’ll be tired and sad, and worried that they’ll be a burden to someone with their sorrow. Most of the time, they’ll seek to sequester themselves away from people. Bring that joy to them! Jesus rose for them just as much as He rose for anyone else, and those people matter. Bring them to the Easter celebration, and remind them of what it means to be loved and cared for as our God loves and cares for us. That’s a powerful witness that you can carry out for them. The Resurrection is now.
Seize the Resurrection Moment
Don’t be content to just embrace the Resurrection and witness it to people around you. Make a commitment to embed it firmly in your daily life. The resurrection of all the dead could come at any moment, and we need to behave as though that were the case. Make a point of adding a spiritual practice into your life that you didn’t have before. Maybe you weren’t in the habit of consistently praying the Rosary; commit to a daily Rosary. Or perhaps you always thought that praying the Angelus three times a day would be awesome, but never got around to it; put a reminder in your phone. Find something—it doesn’t have to be big—that you know would help you grow in grace, and commit to adding it to your daily spiritual life.
The Resurrection was an event that changed the course of human history forever. It opened the doors of salvation to any who truly seek them. Easter is an opportunity for a fresh start, a renewed sense of purpose in chasing eternal life with Jesus. Take advantage of that! Use the celebration of the Easter season to expand your spiritual life and catapult forward. The Resurrection is now.
Vir’s heart has been on fire for the Church from day one, and he dreams of the day when Constantinople will be a city again. He has a competitive drive satiated by sports and board games, but is also just as happy to sit down and read a good book for hours on end.