“People come together with their families to celebrate Easter. What better way to celebrate than to spend a few hours going on the journey of Christ’s life.” ~ Roma Downey
Family and friends. That is one of the images that Easter evokes. Yes, the primary image of Easter is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Yet, when we celebrate that resurrection, we most often do it with special people in our lives. I am always moved by the families that gather together at Easter (as well as at Christmas). People come from miles away just to be with each other on that very special day.
Some of us may not have families around with whom to celebrate the day. In those cases, friends might gather together to worship with one another. And if that cannot happen, there is also another family with whom we can be: a parish family. Many times, we who worship with one another throughout the year, nurture that bond on special feasts such as Easter.
“Family”, in its many forms, may be a part of Easter because Easter is, at its very core, about family. It is about the family of God gathering together to remember something that our very Father had done for us. He sent us His Son, our brother, to die on the cross for us so that we could be set free from sin and death.
Yes, we are family. Oh, we may not like it all the time. We might bicker just like any human family. We may hold grudges. We may not care for how some of our “family members” act. But, as they say, blood is thicker than water and when difficulties arise, we show the family that we are by backing one another, caring for one another, praying for one another, and encouraging one another.
That is all something worth celebrating. We celebrated that yesterday and we celebrate it today. As a matter of fact, we will celebrate it throughout this week and through this coming Sunday. We are in the Octave of Easter and we celebrate Easter Sunday over and over again because the resurrection of Jesus is paramount to our spiritual lives. Without the resurrection, we would be spiritually dead.
We thank our brother, Jesus Christ, for the victory that He won for us over sin and death. We also thank God for the many “families” that He has given to us: our biological families, our relational families, and our parish family. Celebrate the resurrection with one another. Doing so, we will grow closer together. That would be the best gift we could possibly give to our Heavenly Father.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for your family members and your good friends. Ask God to fill their hearts with Easter Joy.