How’s Easter going?The reason I ask is that for most of us, Easter is a single day celebration. But for the Church, it’s a 50 day extended time of joy. That’s 10 more days than Lent! 25% more time to rejoice! Most of us set goals for Lent; Easter, not so much. It seems we are much better being penitent than rejoicing. I wonder why that is. In each of the prefaces of Easter, I proclaim that we are overwhelmed with Paschal joy. Is that true? Do feel overwhelmed with joy?
Think about what we are celebrating: Jesus is truly risen! We take the resurrection of Jesus with as much excitement as saying the light has changed from red to green. It has become for us a matter of fact. But it was not for those 1st disciples!
Now a sizable amount of the Jewish people at the time of Jesus believed in a resurrection of the dead. But it would be for everyone at the end of time. Remember Jesus going to Bethany after the death of Lazarus, meeting Martha, and saying your brother will rise; and Martha responding that she knew he would rise at the end of time? They didn’t expect it to be for one person just three days after his death when time was still ticking away. This was astounding news.Can you imagine the excited conversation that went on when the two disciples ran the seven miles back from Emmaus and burst into the room and breathlessly explained they conversed with Jesus and recognized him in the breaking of the bread and then he disappeared? He apparently appeared to Peter as well so I guess he was undergoing a grilling too. Imagine the questions: What did he look like – like death warmed over? When he talked, why didn’t they recognize his voice? What clothes was he dressed in? How did he seem? Was he like the Jesus we loved and followed? Was he angry that we deserted him?
And in the hubbub, suddenly, out of nowhere, Jesus appears and says: “Peace be with you.” Of course they were startled and terrified, thinking that they were seeing a ghost despite the testimony of Peter and the other two disciples. But he reassured them and even ate in front of them! “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” and said “they were witnesses of these things.”
Peter took his witnessing seriously as we heard in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles. They shared the Good News and Easter continues.
Today, we are witnesses of these things.
I repeat my question: How’s Easter going?
3rd Sunday of Easter