We observe Lent by sacrifices. Surely, it should be a penitential time for us. But, “we are an Easter people” according to Pope St John Paul II. Easter is a time to celebrate Christ’s victory over death. The Resurrection of Jesus, as is said during Mass, “restored our life.” It is a great time to celebrate. And of course, Easter is 50 days of celebration compared to Lent’s 40 days of sacrifice.
So, if we take on a sacrifice during Lent for 40 days, we should then take on a celebration during Easter’s 50 days. We just have to keep it from being sinful. Like our Lenten sacrifice, it does not need to be an everyday occurrence, although it still could be. It needs to be a way for us to remember the Easter Resurrection, like our Lenten sacrifice reminds us of the Good Friday Sacrifice.
So, let us be “an Easter people.” We are to celebrate more than we are to be penitential. Both are needed. Indeed, greater sacrifices make for greater celebrations. We see that apparent in Jesus’ Passion and His Resurrection. Sin and death have lost. Christ is the Victor!
Mary, after Jesus, no one suffered more than you. And yet, after Jesus, no one rejoiced more than you! Help us to rejoice in these 50 days of Easter with a joy beyond what this world can offer. Amen.