Gang nach Emmaus (The Way to Emmaus), by Robert Zünd, 1877. PUBLIC DOMAIN
We are an Easter people
BY DR. JEFF ANDRINI, OFFICE OF EVANGELIZATION AND DISCIPLESHIP
Welcome to the joy of the Easter Season. We travel the desert road of Lent for 40 days, knowing that our lives are filled with selfishness and reflecting on the Passion of our Lord. We come into Holy Week and celebrate the Triduum: the three-day “Great Feast” of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, which culminates at the Easter Vigil as we proclaim and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We then enter the 50-day Easter Season to focus on the hope and joy that is only found in relationship with our great God!
This is the Paschal Mystery, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Like the early followers of Jesus after his death, we too can find ourselves burdened and lacking hope. As we reflect on the division and challenges of our world today, we can easily be overwhelmed and begin to question, “Where is our God?” The answer of Easter is our rallying cry. He is here in the midst of our daily lives and we can experience his love and joy and be transformed!
On the road to Emmaus following the crucifixion, two disciples were walking along and Jesus approached them asking, “Why do you look so downcast.” They responded, “Are you the only one in all Jerusalem to not know about what has happened to Jesus?” As they walked along, in the presence of Jesus, he spoke to them and they found a new and unexpected hope. They invited Jesus to stay and recognized him in the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:13-25).
To live as an Easter People, we too need to spend time with Jesus and time with other disciples on the journey. We need to take time to read the stories of Jesus and time to encounter the love of the Father and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It begins and ends with our encounter with Jesus in the celebration of the Mass. Here we encounter Jesus in the Word, in the assembly, in the priest and in the breaking of the bread and our reception of Jesus, body, blood, soul and divinity. We encounter Jesus and are sent forth to share the love of God with the world.
To be an Easter People is to be rooted in the message of Easter, that you and I are invited into the communion of the Trinity! We are invited into daily relationship with God, who is with us in every reality of our daily lives as individuals, as a Church and the entire world. The love of God changes everything and we need to encounter this personally each day and share it with other followers of Jesus and learn to embody God’s love to all we meet.
Are you ready to celebrate the Easter Season and be inspired to live as a joy and hope-filled disciple of Jesus? Take 10 minutes every day to sit with Jesus and be filled with God’s love. Find others that you can meet with and share faith regularly and when the pandemic is over, may we all experience the power of God’s love in our reception of Jesus at Mass.
You are invited to join others from across our diocese on Wednesday evenings during the Easter Season, via Zoom, for a one-hour session celebrating the faith of the early Church and hearing stories from current Catholics about their faith journeys. Join us as we witness to our Easter Faith! Learn more or register here: owensborodiocese.org/stories-of-faith.
Dr. Jeff Andrini is the director of the Office of Evangelization and Discipleship. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally printed in the April 2021 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.