He is risen!

Today, most of the Christian world celebrates Easter—a commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In his death, celebrated on Good Friday, Jesus gained us pardon from sin. In his resurrection and triumph over death, he restored us to eternal life.

This is the most joyous day in the Christian calendar, and ends the forty days of Lenten prayer and penitence. Liturgically, in Roman Catholic tradition, the joyous ‘Gloria’ and ‘Alleluia’ are sung for the first time in Sunday Mass since Lent began. Our sorrowful focus on our own fallen nature and sinfulness turns, joyously, to a celebration of our forgiveness and eternal life in Jesus Christ. Our forty days of penitence turn to fifty days of Easter celebration.

Personally, Easter also marks our one-year anniversary as Catholics. We entered the church at the Easter Vigil in 2009, which is the evening mass on Saturday and the first (and most solemn, and most joyous) Easter mass. It’s on Saturday because Jewish tradition marks time by sunsets, so the ‘third day’ in scripture actually began at Saturday’s sunset. According to scripture, Jesus rose some time after Saturday’s sunset and before Sunday’s sunrise, because the women came to the tomb to find it empty while it was still dark on Sunday morning.

I wish you all a happy, joyous Easter season. God bless you!