Just when you thought it was over...
Part Eight of an eight-part series of reflections on Lent, Holy Week, and Easter
As you have hopefully been able to see over these last several weeks, these days in Holy Week are filled to overflowing with activity, meaning, drama, and grace. It almost seems a shame that it is about to be over with Easter Sunday Mass.
We’ve gone through Lent preparing ourselves for forty days. We’ve developed our self-discipline. We’ve taken out the things that distract us from our relationship with God. We’ve added things that help us find our place in God’s generous and forgiving heart. In many different ways, we have been dying to ourselves.
Have we done all these things to get to Easter and pick them back up again? I can’t imagine that this would be true.
Instead, I think that we are called to bring them to new life. As the readings of Easter proclaim, we “have died, and our life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3)
Jesus took our sins and nailed them to a cross. He died so that we could be set free from them. But it didn’t end there. It continued to the Resurrection. Our sin has been taken away, and we have been given so much more.
Jesus doesn’t come back and tell His followers that they don’t need to worry about anything anymore. He comes back and gives them something to do. He makes them a hearty breakfast of fish on the shore, and tells Peter, “If you love me, feed my lambs.”(John 21:15) He goes to the mountain and tells the disciples, “Baptize [all nations] in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:20)
The interesting thing about Easter is that the Gospel ends before the apostles have even seen Jesus again. In all but one year of the three-year cycle, the Gospel ends without Jesus having even appeared at all.
If we think that Easter is the end of the season, we are deeply mistaken. We have fifty days to figure out where we are being called. We have fifty days until Pentecost to solidify what we have prepared through our Lenten practices.
Don’t stop here. We were never supposed to.
He is Risen.
So can we.