On Easter Sunday, we celebrated the resurrection of Christ—the central tenet to our Christian faith—that historic truth that changes everything. Father Mike Schmitz speaks charismatically about the historic meaning of the resurrection in his Easter Vigil Homily. You can find it here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/umd-newman-catholic-campus-ministry/id273537688?i=1000471277308
On Easter Monday, we laugh with the risen Jesus, who defeated death. My Irish-American Grandparents had an image of Jesus, head back, mouth agape and laughing joyfully. When I asked about it as a child, I was told he was laughing at the devil because the devil thought he was dead but He came back to life and opened the gates of heaven for us. The same grandparents had an Agony in the Garden image in their bedroom. So many of the images of Jesus I was exposed to were serious and I loved joyful Jesus because that was the Jesus that I imagined saying, “Let the little children come to me.” That’s still the Jesus I imagine laughing when my little kids are innocently misbehaving. So, when I came across this image of laughing Jesus at the Goodwill 5ish years ago, I was thrilled and swiped it up. It’s hanging in our mud room now but I took it off the wall to ask the younger kids why Jesus is laughing today.
Today’s Gospel (MT 28: 8-15) is one of my (many) favorites. It’s just incredible! Preceding today’s Gospel, God (the Word made flesh!) came into the world as a human, after dwelling in the womb of a woman for nine months. He ministers to and heals people. He shows us how to live before he’s tortured, crucified, dies, descends into hell and rises again from the dead!!!
Enter today’s Gospel. The tomb is empty. And who does he first appear to? Women! Women who had no status or social importance during that time. From the beginning of time, our God creates each one of us out of love and loves each of us unconditionally. He breaks the barriers of oppressive social structure to lift up, heal, and give dignity and moral status to those stripped of personhood.
We try our best to pray, fast and give alms during Lent, and then when Easter comes, we feast! We celebrate the resurrection and Jesus’ time on earth as the risen Christ. The Easter Season, which is a liturgical season, lasts 50 days, all the way to Pentecost when we celebrate the Holy Spirit descending on the disciples in the upper room. 50 days!
In our family, we break out of solemn reflection and fasting and try to do something fun or festive each day. Dylan took the day off work today and we enjoyed family time together. For dinner, we used our leftover lamb from Holy Thursday and leftover prime rib from yesterday to make gyros 🥙. Marley made more unleavened bread for our pita. We used my homemade yogurt for tzatziki. We indulged in cheesecake for dessert.
And Dylan held John Paul during our rosary. He doesn’t quite understand that the rosary is a SPIRITUAL weapon yet.