“Please, tell me where they have put Him.” Mary Magdalene
Among our guests at Easter was a priest friend of ours. When he saw my parents at my house for lunch, he reminded us to take advantage of the time we have now with them instead of reducing our loved ones to pictures on our nightstands when they are gone. How often do we do this? He left me thinking of how Mary Magdalene and the Apostles were so distraught after Christ had been laid in the tomb. I thought to myself after reading the passion on Good Friday about how alone they all must have felt. I do not think they would reduce Christ to some nightstand photo, but they really loved our Lord. To their amazement, His Resurrection on Easter Sunday happened as he promised. What joy they must have felt in their hearts! Mary Magdalene was so worried when His body was not in the tomb but she was overjoyed when Christ rose from the dead. Each day after Easter we sing the Regina Coeli in my parish. It resonates with me as it makes me tremble each time I hear it. The readings after Easter are from the Acts of the Apostles. Each account reminds me of the fire the early Christians had for their faith.
“We are the Easter people and Alleluia is our song.” St. John Paul II
I tried very hard to make a good Lent. It was not so easy. When Holy Week arrived, I tried to live it more intensely. Again, I probably failed more than once. On Good Friday, I was asked to read the Passion and I put forth my best effort. After the liturgy, many of us stayed late to take the purple cloth off the statues and ready the church for the Vigil. Walking into church Easter morning gave me a renewed sense of hope, despite the struggles we all face each day.
“The Passion of Christ is the greatest and most overwhelming work of God’s love.” St. Paul of the Cross.
I look back sometimes at the disappointments I have had. It is so important to put these disappointments into perspective. The Lord does make crooked paths straight. The Cross turned into the Resurrection. Mary Magdalene became a devout follower of Jesus, and Peter denied Christ and became the first Pope. We need these examples to lift our eyes to what is important instead of dwelling on what we lack.
“Have the courage to go against the tide of current values that do not conform to the path of Jesus.” Pope Francis
When I was young and learning to drive, I was terrible. I had fender benders and ridicule from everyone. When I moved to the city where I live now, I had to basically teach myself how to drive all over again. I did not give up and I learned the roads well. When my family visits, they are quite surprised still how I know my way around. It is not a very dramatic example, but I need to be reminded always that the road ahead is filled with pitfalls and curves, yet we do not surrender to the common mentality. One book that was one of the first in my repertoire of spiritual books is, “To Be a Pilgrim,” by Cardinal Basil Hume. He said, “The great gift of Easter is hope.” How often do we lose heart in our lives over things we cannot control. We need to be mindful that Easter is not only Sunday, but every day. We can now rejoice and sing with Mary.