the day which the Lord hath made:
let us be glad and rejoice therein.”
[Ordinary of the Mass]
[ Mass Text-Latin]
Please allow me
to wish you a happy Easter—for it should be a season of happiness and
rejoicing. And let me thank all those of you that contributed in one
way or another toward the solemnity of this celebration—your efforts are
certainly appreciated—our Lord knows who you are.
have all made a pretty good Lent, and understand the nature of this
feast, either through your reading of the Sacred Scriptures or by having
participated in the Masses of Lent and Holy Week. If you have done
these things, then you understand something of the joy that a Holy
It is possible
though that the joy of the season still remains a bit one sided. Christ
has done so much for us that we find it difficult if not impossible to
respond in turn. We were inescapably mired in sin; He humbled Himself
beyond all reason to become one of us; He shared our human existence;
He suffered and died for us; and He carried us with Him out of the
grave in His resurrection on Easter Sunday, conquering sin and death.
And, lest we
forget, directly linked to this redemptive sacrifice on the Cross, He
gave us His body and blood for our spiritual nourishment; He empowered
His priests to renew His sacrifice across the barriers of time and
space, so we can be at the foot of the Cross with His Virgin Mother in
Holy Mass; He now dwells with us in all the tabernacles of the world,
eagerly awaiting our visit. He has given us His flesh to eat and His
blood to drink under the appearances of bread and wine.
We might ask
ourselves: “Why would God do such things for mere sinful creatures like
ourselves?” Certainly, He owed us none of this—justice did not oblige
Him at all in our regard. And it wasn't contempt, and probably not even
pity, for such motives would probably have led Him to annihilate us.
The only motive that makes any sense is love. Love does such things.
God did all of these things for us because He loves us.
Now, we might go
back over our Lenten observance and ask ourselves how we might do a bit
more for God in return next year. We might put a little more effort and
a little more honesty into our fasting. And we might discipline
ourselves to a bit more spiritual reading. We might be a little more
generous with the poor. But, no matter how much more we do along these
lines, the joy of the season will still be one-sided. The only thing we
can do that will bring it more into balance is to show God more of our
And people often
have trouble doing that. They say to themselves that “God is too
abstract to love very much, He is too far away; to distant.”
But, if that is
true, this Easter day is precisely the proper time to turn that feeling
around. For, if anything, during the past forty or fifty days Jesus has
been as close to us as it is possible for God to get to His creatures.
We have seen Him heal our blind and lame comrades; we have seen Him
multiply loaves to feed the crowds; we have accompanied Him on His
triumphal procession into Jerusalem; we have tasted His very body and
blood; we have seen Him lay down His life for our salvation. Our God is
not far away; He is not abstract or distant.
Today is Easter
Sunday. “This is the day that the Lord hath made, let us be glad and
rejoice in it.” Let us who have received God's love share it with each
other and with those who have not received it—for love is something that
we cannot do in isolation. Perhaps in this way, by loving each other,
we will come to love the God who left no good deed undone to show us His
Jesus Christ is truly risen from the
dead! Enjoy loving God as well as being loved by Him! Happy Easter!