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Easter Joy for Every Day: Weekly Message for 04-21-2020
Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, pax Christi,
No doubt about it – this Easter season is particularly unique. More than ever do we need to be witnesses of Easter joy amidst the global challenges and sufferings that we face. Easter is a new spiritual season – it’s actually the longest liturgical season, full of graces and nourishment for our needy souls.
For us Catholics, Easter should always be on our minds and filling our hearts. A spiritual battle constantly swirls around us. Our ancient foe, the devil can be getting the better of us, tempting us to fall into discouragement and hopelessness, and trying to impede us from God’s grace by turning our minds away from deeper truths.
Do we really trust in the power of Christ’s Resurrection? If so, then it should have a profound impact on our interior lives to invoke that power more intentionally and more frequently every day. What a difference it would make in our attitude, our heart, and our actions if we truly lived more and more in, through, and from the light of the Resurrection! As Pope Francis prayed in his Urbi et Orbi blessing this Easter Sunday:
“Christ, my hope, has arisen!” (Easter Sequence). This is a different “contagion”, a message transmitted from heart to heart – for every human heart awaits this Good News. It is the contagion of hope: “Christ, my hope, is risen!”. This is no magic formula that makes problems vanish. No, the resurrection of Christ is not that. Instead, it is the victory of love over the root of evil, a victory that does not “by-pass” suffering and death, but passes through them, opening a path in the abyss, transforming evil into good: this is the unique hallmark of the power of God.
There’s something beautiful that happens in our soul when we meditate on the gift that God gave us in His Son. What would our lives look like if we are living from this perspective all year long? During these next seven weeks of Easter, (other than delving deeper with one of our Retreat Guides) I want to share five practical ways that we can intentionally celebrate the resurrection every day, throughout the year.
1. Taking time to meditate on the gospel daily
We have heard the Easter story countless times. We need to remind ourselves daily of the Good News of Christ’s victory over sin and death as if we’ve never heard it before. Meditate upon the victory that was won there for us, through the power of the Holy Spirit that’s now alive in us, and speaking to us each day through the scriptures. You may want to try our Gospel Reflections.
2. Dying to self
The cross is the symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice for the world – the physical death and taking on of our iniquities past, present, and future – that means eternal victory over sin and shame. If we live each day remembering the power of this sacrifice, we can live as we are called to crucifying our selfishness, our entitlement and our lack of love and sympathy, while putting off the old self at the foot of that wonderful cross.
3. Keeping our focus on the eternal
The Resurrection means that a way has been made for us. We’re promised eternal life with God because our debt has been paid with Jesus’ blood. Because we’re secure in our eternity, we need to remember to live each day holding fast to this truth. Reject the desire to clamor for accomplishments and possessions in this fleeting earthly life. Instead, fix our eyes on the treasure that is forever ours – eternal life with our Creator.
4. To praise, celebrate and rejoice!
When we recall the wonder of the Resurrection, we’re called to rejoice! Our response to the complete end of our sin and shame should be to worship the Lamb who was slain in full voice and fervor. We can celebrate each day the Lord has given us by viewing it as a gift, knowing that our future is secure in Him because of His victory.
5. Sharing the Good News
After the risen Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene at the tomb, she immediately ran into town to tell the apostles what she’d seen. We’re called to spread the news of Christ’s redeeming love and sacrifice to all – making “disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19 – 20).
I sincerely hope and pray that you are able to experience some of Easter’s joys during this month. Even when faced with the trials and struggles of everyday life, Easter joy can still flow through our hearts. Let this truth give us continued strength and resolve to be witnesses of the joy of the Risen Lord throughout this Easter season.
We want to sincerely thank all of you who are helping our mission with your support. Your generosity has given us at RCSpirituality the confidence to continue providing resources that are a source of spiritual strength, peace, and grace to so many throughout the coming months.
May we be united in praying that the joy in the Risen Lord (the only joy that will last forever) will spread and grow in your hearts in a special way this Easter Season.
May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity and lead us into the light of his glorious day, a day that knows no end. – Pope Francis
Yours sincerely in Christ,