Today is the day the Lord has made

Also known as: Easter 2012

…let us rejoice and be glad in it!

And so another Lent and Holy Week came and went, and it is now time for my favorite season, Easter. I used to say that I liked Advent and Christmas more than Lent and Easter, but now I’ve grown up (a bit :D), I realize that I may just love Lent and Easter more. Not that Advent and Christmas aren’t equally important as Lent and Easter, but the latter seasons are pretty much the defining moment of my faith, of our faith. Without Lent and Easter, Christmas means nothing.

Alleluia!
ALLELUIA! (Risen Christ image at St. Pio Center, Libis)

Lent. I meant to post more about how my Lent was, but March’s events got me so busy that I hardly found the time to post. I tried, but you know, it wasn’t easy especially when I was always out. But I didn’t take Lent easy this year. I tried something new, which I think are efforts that were blessed. I’ll post about it in the next few days (I promise!), but suffice to say: this Lent is probably the most meaningful one I’ve ever had.

Triduum. For the first time since I can remember, I managed to participate in as many church activities that I can during the Triduum. There was the usual Maundy Thursday mass, followed by Stations of the Cross on Good Friday (with actual crosses!) and Veneration of the Cross, and finally, Easter Vigil on Black Saturday. I used to think that Good Friday and Black Saturday were best spent at home in silence and reflection. But all the podcasts I listened to were right — the real best way to really and truly understand and feel the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus is to attend these activities because the Holy Week is meant to be spent in community with the church. :)

I can’t remember the last time I felt a holy kind of excitement in my heart until the Easter Vigil at our parish last night, and my heart was thrilled when the lights in the church were turned on. If I could shout, I would probably shout “Alleluia!” out loud. :)

Then, Easter Sunday. Bright and sunny (and hot!), and it felt like everyone was so full of cheer. Like there’s a new beginning.

And you know what? I think there really is a new beginning offered to each one of us. Because Jesus Christ had conquered death, we are free. And most of all, we are loved. :)

The best and most tangible feeling of this freedom: I gave up some things for Lent — these things aren’t bad things, but things that I could live without. It was hard to give up, and I broke my fast a few times. I almost thought I wouldn’t make it until Easter. But when Easter finally rolled around, doing the things I gave up again felt like such a huge gift. It felt like I was suddenly free to do those things again, when the only thing stopping me from doing those things were myself in the past 5-6 weeks. It’s like things were made new again. I was given another chance to live, but this time mindful of the fact that I should do these things I gave up for Lent for His glory and not mine because my Savior suffered so much to set me free. :)

See. I love Easter. How can you not love Easter?

Happy Easter, my dear friends. Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Jesus has risen, indeed. May this Easter bring you new hope and new beginnings. :) Alleluia!

Wait.

Also known as: I ramble because I feel like I need to post here. And some Black Saturday thoughts.

You’d think I’d write more here now that we’ve settled into the new-old house and had our Internet set up and all that. Yeah, I thought so too. But alas, life has caught up with me and I find myself not having words to write here. I’ve been busy with work, reading and generally trying to stay healthy after a slew of allergies and asthma attacks got me in the past weeks.

I wish I could regale you with more words, really, but I’m caught in this weird funk. Strangely, I can write tons about the books I read, spout random bursts of emo-ness and even attempted to write some pieces of fiction. It’s not really lost — I’m just at a loss for words here.

So excuse me for that.

On another note, Holy Week 2011 was very interesting. It was quiet, hot, and it crept up to me with surprises that got me blubbering like a grateful and loved idiot in the middle of the night during Good Friday. It’s good, remembering the story of ALL stories, and remembering that I am not just a spectator but a part of that story. Interestingly enough, I think I found this year’s lesson for me on Black Saturday, the day in the Holy Week where really, nothing happens.

I’m not sure why it resonated with me…except maybe I can relate to the nothingness of Black Saturday. To the waiting. The holding of the breath. The wondering in what happens next. I must thank Matt Maher for his Holy Week reflections, especially video #6:

To quote:

Imagine what that must have felt like…the combination of anxiety and excitement and fear…you know, the kind of hope where you like, “I don’t even want to hope this is real because I can’t even handle the let down if it’s not.” And so…I don’t know if there are areas in your life right now where you’re kind of sick of waiting and you’re trying to find easy solutions, or you’re trying to find quick ways around the waiting. But I want to encourage you today to wait. To let those moments sit. Like they do on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday…give yourself some space to wait, and to let God move. And I think you’ll be surprised at what He can do with a little bit of time.

That definitely made me think. Thoughts on waiting require more than one post, so I would spare you from that. Let’s just say that right now, I feel like I’m being asked to just…wait. I definitely have that feeling of “I don’t even want to hope this is real because I can’t even handle the let down if it’s not.” Believe me, I do. My defense mechanisms are starting to think of scenarios on how I’d handle that let down if it happens, and a part of me is wishing really, really hard for it to choose another way. I don’t know, really. Except for that — I’m being asked to wait. Let God move. Just like how He did on Black Saturday.

THIS.

So yeah, this may be some kind of holding pattern. So I will wait. As for what I’m waiting for…maybe I’ll share next time. Maybe.

I See Love

Also known as: Easter

With your last breath
I see love
Through your death
I see love
I see peace in the eyes of the king
I see hope in your suffering
I see a calm in the center of the storm
I see a Saviour

I see love
Light of heaven breaking through
I see grace
I see God’s face
Shining pure and perfect love
When I see you

Some see Him walking from an empty grave.1

This is my favorite Sunday of all Sundays. :) Alleluia. Jesus has risen! :)

  1. I See Love by Steven Curtis Chapman, Mercy Me and Third Day []