Christ is risen, alleluia!
During the last few days, we have been in the Easter Octave, a joyous eight days in which we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection anew each day. Every day is treated as a solemnity, the Gloria is sung at daily Mass, and the obligation to abstain from meat is lifted on the Friday during the octave. The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary are said every day and the Office for the Dead and Masses for the Dead are forbidden, although funeral Masses where the body is present are permitted. The reason for the octave is that the joy of the completion of our justification and salvation cannot be contained in one day, and so Holy Mother Church gives us seven extra days to celebrate. We hear different accounts of Jesus’s appearances following His Resurrection in the Gospel readings during these days, and these give us an opportunity each day to reflect on the different responses of those who saw Jesus and how they recognized Him, and how we recognize Him and live out the belief in His Resurrection in our own lives.
During his homily for the Easter Vigil, Pope Francis spoke about the Gospel reading from St. Matthew where Jesus appeared to the three women, telling them to go to His disciples and instruct them to go to Galilee, where they would see Him. He then told the people present and the viewers that they should spend time reflecting on their own Galilee, the place where they first encountered Christ and made the decision to live for Him, leaving behind the darkness and coldness of the tomb, which signifies being dead in sin. Remembering this first encounter will remind us why we are continuing on this journey to eternal life and give us the strength to persevere. We will also be given the opportunity to reflect on how we have remained faithful since that first encounter, and where we need to repent and work on our relationship with Christ.
How do we live out our belief in Christ’s Resurrection? How do we recognize Him in our lives and where did we have our Galilee, our first encounter with the risen Christ? These questions are worth reflecting on during this joyful Easter season, which will last for 50 days, and doing so will help us carry on its joy year round and spread it to others. May you all have a blessed Easter season!