Catholics (and other Christians too, I suspect) are really good at Lent. We go through Lent abstaining from meat on Fridays, fasting on certain days, giving things up, trying to get to daily Mass more frequently, going to Stations or other prayer services during the week. We don’t necessarily live up to all of our hopes for our Lenten observances (more than one of my friends confessed their inability to keep their resolve to give up Facebook during Lent), but we give it a darn good effort.
Then comes Easter. We attend the Easter Vigil (as I did last night) or go to Sunday morning Easter Mass (as my daughter did) and we have a wonderful gathering of friends and family for the Easter feast. Then, it is easy to go back to things as usual.
But, there is a reason that the Easter season in the Church liturgical calendar goes on for 50 days until Pentecost Sunday. The Resurrection of Christ radically changes everything and it is so important for us to take time to reflect on what Resurrection means for us, individually and as a community, so that we can more fully be a witness to Resurrection in the world.
So don’t put Easter behind you, because it is now Monday and Easter Sunday was yesterday. Instead, carry forth the Resurrection spirit in all you do and are in the world. And to help you do that, you might want to spend some time praying with the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples to help you contemplate what Jesus’ Resurrection means to you.
There are plenty of resources to help you. To list of couple right here: First, the prayer material I distributed on the last day of the Lent Retreat in Daily Living at UST has severals of suggested prayer material for the post-Easter period. You can get a copy of that material here.
Second, Christ the King and St. Thomas Apostle parishes in Minneapolis are sponsoring a four-week program, Reflecting on the Post-Resurrection Appearances, that I will be co-presenting with Bill Nolan of STA. Each week we will focus on the final chapter of one of the Gospels, beginning with Mark this Wednesday. If you are in the area, think about attending one or more sessions. (You can find information at page 5 of the CTK bulletin here.) If not, I’ll be posting podcasts of Bill and my talks here on Creo en Dios!