IT IS FINISHED. HE IS RISEN!
Happy Easter to all who read this blog entry. I joined a couple of my priests last night and they were all relating their experience of Holy Week 2009, mostly all pleased with attendance, the ceremonies, their preaching, etc. but all said in one way or another, “I’ll be happy when it is finished.” Easter always ends with great crowds overflowing our parishes following a generally sparsely attended Easter Vigil ceremony the previous night. Tempers run short when finding a place in the parking lot is almost impossible only to find all the places to sit in the Church are already taken. In the end, for some people the Easter experience is a nightmare and they promise never to come back to Church again, until they build a bigger Church some say. Well, one of the largest churches in Christindom is not big enough at Easter – St. Peter’s in Rome. So what is the attraction of Easter.
I think it is to be found in the heart and nature of the day itself. Christmas is a nice story and Jesus had to be born so there’s nothing really new about that, except the manner in which he was conceived. Easter is exceptional – a man dies like a criminal and rises from the dead like God! Now that’s something to recall and to celebrate it with others is really special. But there is more here than meets the eye or the ear. Something profoundly important was done for us and we need to hear its consequences. At the Easter Vigil ceremony I told a story which I found in a recent edition of AMERICA magazine (click here for the homily). I think as did the author of the article that it tells the story of what Easter is all about in imagery we can both understand and appreciate. I hope it helps unlock the secret of Easter’s meaning for you as much as it did for me.
We baptized quite a few at the Cathedral of St. Jude last night and welcomed several more into our faith. Some pictures of the special moment from the Cathedral are shown below. Think of them as being raised from the depth of the baptismal pool (I usually lift each one of them back to their feet after soaking them in baptismal water). Then read the homily if you have not already done so. So happy Easter again. There will be a one week hiatus for myself from writing in this blog and you can begin to look for new entries sometime around the 19th.
My thanks for these pictures to John Christian, my Master of Ceremonies for all the Liturgies of Holy Week.