Others would correct the greeting and say, “Belated Happy Easter!” The truth is, we have just started Easter. The season of Easter begins with the event of the Resurrection of the Lord and will last up to the celebration of Pentecost (which will be on May 15, 2016). And so, approximately Easter time will always be 50-day celebration. So, Happy Easter everybody!
Easter is the highest celebration of our Christian faith and of our Church. This is much more important than Christmas (though we know we would love more the celebration of Christmas; perhaps because of gifts and glitters of the season. Or perhaps, because of Christmas bonus. How about Easter bonus then?) But really and truly, Easter is the apex of our faith. St. Paul would say, “Without Resurrection, our faith is useless… Our preaching, empty.”
Let me share with you three inspirations of Easter. Easter is about light, peace and Mary Magdalene.
- Light Remember that the celebration of Easter begins with the light. During the rite of the Vigil on Saturday evening, there is that blessing of light. Recall too that in the story of Creation, the first act of Yahweh was light. “Let there be light!” What does this mean? Resurrection is new creation. Resurrection is new light (not just new life). Light triumphs over darkness. The light of truth is victorious over deceit. The light of love wins over the darkness of hate. The light of assurance is certain over darkness of doubt.
2. Peace A person who has just been victorious after a battle would naturally take revenge against the enemy. This is not true in the story of Resurrection. Instead of revenge, Jesus greeted “Peace be with you.” He could have reprimanded Peter for denying him thrice. He could have scolded that disciples for abandoning him. He could have filed a case against authorities and soldiers for their wrong and unjust accusations that brought him his death. But Jesus offered them PEACE.
In other words, Resurrection, which is Peace, means saying, “Can we start all over again?” This is the offer of Resurrection. You have hurt me but can we try all over again?… You have betrayed me, but can we start all over again?… You have injured me, but I am okay now, can we start all over again? Resurrection is peace. It is not about getting even. It is not about revenge. It is not “a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye.” It is rather to be at peace, even with an enemy.
The Resurrection news was entrusted to Mary Magdalene. Would you rather that you commission with your news a woman who is ill-repute? Who would believe her? How credible could she be? But then again this is the story of Resurrection. What message does it convey to us? – that each person is after all trustworthy! Everyone can be trusted with the story of Jesus. You and I, no matter how sinful, are being asked by Jesus to spread His message. There is no excuse from mission. No one is exempt to bring the message of Good News. In fact, the more unworthy we feel, the more we have to do mission. After all in mission, we are bringing Christ and not our selves. When we feel that our selves are too dark, it is in fact opportune for the LIGHT to shine.
May our Easter be truly meaningful as we become light, peace, and “Magdalene” to others.