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The Good News of Easter

unnamedToday is the day when we Christians rejoice as our Saviour has conquered death and sin. We take comfort in the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection, because in his resurrection we find hope.

Over the last few days we have experienced Jesus’ passion, as he was arrested and sentenced to death. We saw what looked like a certain defeat, and now we see Jesus bringing victory out of his defeat. This gives hope to all humanity as we struggle to overcome sin and imperfection in our lives. It can often seem when we look both at ourselves and our world that sin and evil triumph. Indeed, when we look at the last few days, where we sacramentally experienced the death of Christ, it is easy for us to imagine how the disciples of Jesus must have felt. It must have looked like sin and evil won.

For the disciples of Jesus, Good Friday must have felt like the end of the road. They were scattered, and one of their number – Judas Iscariot- had betrayed them. None of them could have known how things would turn out in the end. None of them could have understood fully that it was not the end of the road but rather the beginning.

This new beginning on the day of the resurrection changed everything. At the news the tomb was empty, hope stirred in their hearts. They ran to the tomb to find it empty. Instantly they believed the Lord was alive. They knew God had triumphed over darkness. They did not fall into cynicism but they embraced hope. We too are called to have this Hope. We too must learn not to become discouraged by sin and weighed down by evil around us, but to have a firm hope in God. We too must embrace the resurrection and have faith that no matter the difficulties we face God can and will triumph in our lives if we cling to Jesus.     

Overcoming sin and evil may look like impossible tasks, but when we see things from the vantage point of the resurrection, we realise that Jesus’ resurrection also looked like something impossible. Yet, the resurrection did happen, and because it happened, we can have faith that God always triumphs over evil. We can have faith that sin and evil are always defeated in the end by those who put their faith in the Jesus Christ.

Rejoice, therefore, in the Good News of Easter. God has conquered sin and death, and opened the gates to paradise.

Online Video Review: Reason for the Season – the Easter Triduum

A well-known chocolate company is currently running an advertising campaign for bunny-shaped treats with the tagline, ‘Why wait until Easter?’ I imagine the concept of ‘Lent’ isn’t a popular one among chocolate manufacturers, but it says a lot that they could ask this rhetorical question as if there were no obvious answer. Just as Christmas festivities are extended (for commercial reasons) into the waiting period before Christmas, so too the allure of Easter indulgence pops its head up in the last weeks of Lent.

How should we respond? Well, we should certainly ‘wait until Easter’, and stay faithful to our Lenten regimes. But in response to worldly indulgence we should be careful not to become mere puritans. The best way to avoid this possibility is to really spend time meditating on the mysteries we celebrate at Easter, which motivate both our Lenten simplicity and our Easter celebration.

The video above, produced by the Irish Dominican students, is a good way to enter more deeply into the Paschal mysteries. It explains, step by step, the Church celebrations that mark the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday), ending with the drama of the Easter Vigil. This collective journey through the liturgy is also a spiritual journey with Christ.

Cadbury’s might want to rush us to Easter, but a better path is to take your time on the journey, to walk slowly through the Upper Room, to Calvary, to the tomb, and beyond.