Hi, my name is Roy and I struggle to live out the meaning of Easter. (This is where you say “Hi Roy!”) Hi everybody! Don’t get me wrong. I “get it”, intellectually. But come early Sunday afternoon, once I’ve awakened from my self-induced, chocolate-rabbit, diabetic coma, I will begin asking myself, “Now what?” What does Christ rising from the dead, mean for me in my everyday life? What should it mean? For a long time I felt like Easter was a grand occasion where we all dressed up really nicely to tell God, “Congratulations! You did it! Thanks for reopening heaven for us!” But God doesn’t need my adulation. It is I who need to give it to Him. God doesn’t need my thanks; it is I who need to thank Him. What then does my gratitude, adulation and glorification of God do to me? For me?
God designed us to find what we look for; and we look for what we deem important. You’ll notice this next time you’re researching an item you wish to purchase – a vehicle for instance. As you begin narrowing your search, these makes and models will appear to you frequently. It’s as if there are more of those models in existence now that you’re shopping for one. The brain knows you cannot attend to everything, so it helps you by presenting to you what’s important to you. This applies to anything requiring attention. If you truly desire to be a grateful person, you’ll start seeing things, people, experiences and events for which you can be grateful. They’ve been there all along, but you see them now, because they’re now important.
One function of religious practice is to help us attend to the sacred in everyday life. But that’s not easy. Turn on just about any “news” program. Death, violence and crime dominate, making death seem more prevalent than life; but that’s not true. We are just not in the practice of looking for life. The Church takes eight days to celebrate the feast of Easter. It would seem we need that much time to allow “Resurrection” to sink in. We need eight days of seeing white cloths and flowers, smelling incense and fragrant lilies, singing “Alleluia”, chanting “Gloria”, restating the promises of our Baptism and feelings its waters sprinkled onto our skin – over and over and over again to believe Christ is risen – today! Easter does not deny darkness in today’s world anymore than it denies the events of Calvary and Golgotha. It does, however, remind us which is more powerful. Celebrating Easter helps us to see and reminds us to look for life and Resurrection all year long. Easter reminds us that Christ, the Resurrection and the Life, has conquered death once and for all. It’s up to us to look for it and see it every day in our midst.