My friend Bill Nolan, pastoral associate at St. Thomas Apostle in Minneapolis, writes a reflection for his community each week. This past week, he reported that he asked those who would be entering the Church at the Easter Vigil this year to reflect on the question: What difference does Easter make to you this year? How is The Story different for you this time around?
He went on to invite all of us to reflect on the same question. Bill writes:
Churches across the world welcome new members to the faith every Easter. They can easily become – and rightly so – the sacramental focus of the vigil celebration. But precisely because of what they are doing in professing a communal faith and becoming part of a faith community, their actions should be an invitation to us to do more than simply watch it happen. Their profession of faith, their coming to the water, their joining us at the table should also be an invitation to renew our own faith and to ask ourselves the same questions that we ask them.
What difference does Easter make to you this year? How is The Story different for you this time around? What inspires you to embrace your faith so deeply this Easter?
Conversion is not a singular event. It is ongoing. It is repetitive in some ways, yes, in that the liturgical year cycles through the same stories. But if we take our faith seriously, those stories should never be heard exactly the same way twice. The mystery of the Incarnation, God entering human history in our image and likeness, should be entered into more deeply each time we share it. How much more so the mystery of the Resurrection? How great the invitation to ponder more deeply the messages of the empty tomb: light is greater than darkness; love is more powerful than apathy; life is stronger than death.
So…What difference does Easter make to you this year? How is The Story different to you this time around? What inspires you to embrace your faith so deeply this Easter? As you come to the life giving water, as you make your profession of faith, as you come to the table of love…What difference does it make?
We’ve finished participating in our Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter liturgies. We’ve had our big Easter dinner. This might be a good time for you to reflect on Bill’s question. What difference does Easter make to you this year?