We Are a 'Resurrection People’ Our Cause for Joy!
“THE SADNESS OF DEATH GIVES WAY TO THE BRIGHT PROMISE OF IMMORTALITY.”
Those are words from the first Preface of Christian Death prayed at many Funerals, the beginning of the Consecratory Prayer of Mass. It may seem odd to be talking about death and Funeral Masses on Easter Sunday, but here's why it's not: It is fitting on this Easter Day to remember that whenever a Christian dies we look forward with Hope for “the bright promise of immortality.” Ours is the promise to New and Eternal Life, through Jesus’ Resurrection on that first Glorious Easter Day!
During this past year, while all of us have been affected in one way or another by the coronavirus pandemic, we have certainly witnessed and experienced a share of dying: whether it be the loss of the precious Life of a loved one, or a ‘dying’ of some of our routines in living and gathering: in our work, social, family, and Faith settings. As sure as we believe in the Resurrection and Life beyond physical death, we hold, with Hope, to the reality that Life and ‘routines’ for us here on Earth will also be resurrected, even if as a ‘new routine.’ Perhaps already you have experienced elements of that new routine as being different in many good ways. Think of the many new ways of outreach to those in need that the pandemic brought about. Think of how much we have missed our various gatherings.
Whenever we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we remember all that we have been celebrating and praying through the Days of the Sacred Triduum, that lead us into Easter – physical life (Jesus taking on human flesh, and His abiding Presence among us in His Sacraments, Sacred Scripture, and one another), celebrations with family and friends (the meal, friendship, and service shared by Jesus and His Apostles on Holy Thursday), the sadness of separation (our Good Friday commemoration), and the gladness and joy of the Resurrection (Easter Sunday)!
We must remember that any sadness and separation we experience in this Life is only temporary. We who believe in Christ have the promise of being gathered together again. For us – as other words in that Preface tell us – “life is changed, not ended.” The physical separation under which we have been living during the pandemic, and even that brought about by physical death, is only temporary.
That's why we can truly say that we are a ‘Resurrection People.’ As Jesus showed us, we will emerge victorious from anything we might endure during our Earthly journey of Life. That is our Cause for Joy! All God asks of us is that we do our true best to participate with Him, to do our true best in being Jesus to others.
Embrace the Life which is the Way of Christ, and you will always walk in the protective embrace of the Resurrection, thanks be to God.