I don’t know about you, but there’s really something about this particular Easter season that has me…well, joyful.
I suppose Easter is reason enough to be joyful, but in the past years, after Easter Sunday has come to a close, I go back to the daily grind, and well, forget that it is still Easter. I go back to work, to everyday life, and go back to my old struggles, like Easter didn’t happen at all.
But this year, I don’t know. I go to mass, and every time we pray the Regina Coeli, or recite Glory to God, I start tearing up. I love it when the priest says “Alleluia” at the end of his blessing, and I say, “Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia” back. I love it, and every time I remember the victory of Easter, I couldn’t stop smiling and singing inside because…well, it’s Easter!
I suppose it is because of knowing that I am truly forgiven and all. And I suppose it’s because this Easter is a stark contrast from last Easter, where everyday was a struggle to believe in the victory of Christ’s resurrection.
I remember reading somewhere, probably on Twitter, last year that Easter is the longest season in the church for a reason. I guess it’s because we frail and imperfect humans need a reminder that Jesus’ resurrection is really important, and it is a real cause for celebration. So we should celebrate. We should remember, and we should live it, until it gets ingrained in our hearts even after Easter is over. I mean, the resurrected Christ could have just showed up for a week, and then ascended, but He chose to stay with the people to teach them and equip them for 50 days. And what’s more, even after His ascension, He sends the Holy Spirit to prepare us even more and remind us that Hey, you are neveralone.
How amazing is that.
I guess one of the reasons why this Easter feels different is because…well, it is. It’s like I am finally waking up, like I have finally reached something and I am about to start a new journey.
It’s so incredibly exciting.
So yeah, it’s still Easter. And if you had a particularly good and blessed Holy Week and you’re wondering where it all went, remember this: IT IS STILL EASTER. There is still a lot of reasons for us to sing Hallelujah. :)
And today, the second Sunday of Easter, there is cause for more joy. It’s Divine Mercy Sunday (which I would write about in another blog post, but I think this one from Lifeteen has it covered :D), and the canonization of two Popes, Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II.
Truth be told, I knew nothing about Blessed John XXIII until recently, but I’m starting to read up about him and he’s pretty awesome, too. But JP2…he was the first Pope I knew in my lifetime. If you know me in real life, you know how much I love JP2, and how every time I read or watch something about him, I start crying. I didn’t get to see him when he was in Manila for World Youth Day 1995 because I was too young to appreciate it, but I knew, even in my young heart, that he was a great and good man. More than a decade later, when I started praying and preparing for WYD 2011, I asked for his intercession everyday for the pilgrimage. And I believe that it was because of his intercession that the WYD dream finally came true. :)
I love it that JP2 knew what it is to be an Easter person, to have Jesus’ resurrection in his heart and to believe in the love that redeemed us from the depths of our sin. This is a person who knew and believed in God’s mercy and grace, and lived it his whole life even in the face of death. This is someone who knows how to take delight for real, and who loves fully because he is loved.
So yeah, this Easter is definitely something. :) And we’re only just in the first week! Hallelujah, indeed.
Happy Divine Mercy and Canonization Sunday, everyone! St. John XXIII and St. John Paul the Great, pray for us! :)