So often our world seems to cut our joyous holidays short or misunderstand the meaning of the season. During Advent, stores and commercials build up the holiday hype of Christmas, but the day after Christmas everything is marked down and pushed away. Meanwhile, Catholics spend Advent preparing, with eager anticipation, for Christ’s birth on Christmas. Christmas day comes and we continue the celebration through the Epiphany (January 6th) or even through the Presentation (February 2nd).
The same can be said of Easter. After Valentine’s Day, stores are filled with Easter candy and the bunny can be found hanging out at your local mall, taking pictures with never-ending lines of children. While the secular world prepares for Easter, Catholics are in the midst of Lent, penitent and somber. When Easter Sunday comes, we don our very best to honor the resurrection of our Lord. Easter Monday continues the celebration of Easter, not only through the Octave of Easter, but on through to Pentecost, 50 days after Easter. But for the secular world, Easter Monday is not a thing to celebrate, it is a time to mark down the candy and move on to the next holiday or season.
How then do we, as Catholics, honor the season of Easter, despite the fact that the secular world is over the hoopla the day after Easter?
Since Easter is a season and not merely a day, re-live Easter as a family. Whether it is through pictures, the reading of various Scripture accounts of the empty tomb, proofs of Jesus’ resurrection, or meditations on Easter, we can continue to learn and pray about Christ’s resurrection.
If your family has a prayer table or prayer corner, be sure to adorn it with white or gold cloths throughout the Easter season. You may also want to consider adding a risen Christ crucifix to your table to meditate on as you pray.
Theme for the Week
Each week of the Easter season can have a theme to it in order to focus your family prayer time. Perhaps for the first week of Easter your family can focus on the virtue of mercy in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday. An image or font with the Divine Mercy image as revealed to St. Faustina would be the perfect addition to any home. Theme ideas for other weeks of the Easter season could be virtues such as faith, hope, and love, with Scripture verses to accompany your prayer for the week.
What does Christ’s sacrifice mean for you and to you? Consider reading through the Acts of the Apostles and putting yourself in the story. What would you have done if you had been one of Christ’s followers? Would you have hidden like the apostles did? Would you be willing to go to the ends of the earth to share His message? Would you have been like Thomas, needing to see and touch Christ’s wounds? Consider where your faith places you in the story of the resurrection and where you’d like your faith to go in the coming weeks and years. How can the power of Christ’s Resurrection deepen and enliven your faith?
Remember, as St. John Paul II said, “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song!” Don’t let Easter be only a day – make it a season of great meaning and growth for yourself and your family!