Don’t let the joke be on you Easter Sunday

Posted March 30, 2018 at 12:00 am

Many years ago, as the story goes, even long before this aging scribe had spliced his first comma, a man walked among the people, proclaiming not to be a prophet but a teacher and a savior.

He healed the sick, fed the hungry, performed countless miracles including raising the dead and attracted large crowds, preaching with a maturity that amazed even some of his most ardent detractors.

Eventually, he was crucified by his own people but three days later was raised from the dead.

Meek color.pdf

Is this an April’s Fool story or the resurrection of Our Lord?  In 2018 it’s actually both, as Easter falls on April 1, the annual prankster day. 

However, who will the joke ultimately be on? 

As Catholics, we believe the resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith, the living proof of eternal salvation. And who among us are not sinners, are not in need of God’s infinite mercy?

The triduum has always been my favorite part of the liturgical year for many reasons, not just because I can finally return to indulging in whatever I gave up for Lent. Our entire Catholic faith and everything in which we believe is encapsulated in those three days: Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection so that we might share in his glory.

Holy Thursday holds a special place, admittedly part of the reason being much of the focus is on food and beverage, two things dear to my heart.

More importantly, Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane is a stark reminder as to how we should all humble ourselves before God, placing our petitions before him, getting on our knees pleading for his mercy. Or perhaps ask God to free us from our own bonds of sin that spiritually shackle us.

If Jesus, the son of God, humbled himself before his father, then I have to ask who am I that I would not do the same, that I would not experience my own Gethsemane daily? 

Good Friday offers its own sorrows, pertinent to our own daily lives. Turn on the news or hang by the company water cooler and you are certain to hear people judging others, just as the Jews judged Jesus. And let’s be honest, who goes through a day without passing judgment, at least silently, on others, such as the way a fellow worker is dressed, or their lifestyle, or even casting a judgmental eye toward a homeless person begging for money as we approach an intersection. 

I am also struck by how we nail ourselves to our own personal crosses by refusing to let go of the past, by not surrendering our worries and anxieties to God, by controlling our lives without spiritual direction. Who needs centurions when we, and I plead my own guilt, so often take up our own spiritual hammers and drive the nails in ourselves by our own stubbornness, telling God our way is better than his way, that we are in control and not him? 

Let me know how that works out.

Finally, Easter Sunday arrives with the promise of the resurrection, of being freed from the grim reaper of sin. It is an opportunity to emerge from the darkness of the previous 40 days and into the light of a new life, one where God is our author, writing our story. 

Easter, the culmination of the triduum, begs us to turn the keys of life over to God. Let’s face it, he knows the road of life much better than we, and only he can guide us to our glorious and final destination.

Happy Easter, and don’t let the joke be on you this Easter Sunday. 

Bla