Happy Easter! I know that’s the natural thing to say on Easter Sunday, but it sounds a little strange to say it this year, doesn’t it? After all, I’m sure that this doesn’t feel like the “happiest” Easter we’ve ever had. I personally miss you all every Sunday (every day, really), but even more so on Easter. And I know that being separated from loved ones and unable to come to church are incredibly painful for you, as well.
But, COVID-19 or not, Easter is still the happiest day on the calendar! The tomb is still empty. Christ has still risen from the dead. He has still opened up the gates of heaven so that poor souls like us can hope to join Him there one day. Every reason for our Easter joy is just as real this year as it’s ever been. No virus, no quarantine can ever take that away. And so I hope your Easter is, indeed, happy.
So what can you do to make Easter a joyful celebration in your home? First and foremost, watch the Mass on TV. In fact, I’d recommend watching multiple Masses! (At Christ the King alone, we’ll have both an Easter Vigil on Saturday night, and an Easter Mass on Sunday morning. That’s in addition to countless other Mass broadcasts available on TV, on Redeemer Radio and online.) Multiple Masses give you the chance to hear more homilies, enjoy more music, and be united with more of your fellow homebound Catholics in prayer. And never forget that every time we participate in Mass, we’re also praying alongside the saints and angels in heaven, where the Divine Liturgy is always going on. You may be at home by yourselves, but you’re not worshiping alone!
And while you’re at it, dress up for Easter. Celebrate with a big dinner. Spend time calling friends and relatives you can’t see face to face. Enjoy a great Easter-time movie, like The Ten Commandments or Lilies of the Field. Even though you can’t leave home, make sure that Easter looks different than any other day. Because it is. It is the day that Christ put on His greatest display of power, rising from the dead and giving us an everlasting life that we could never gain for ourselves. It is the cornerstone of our faith, and it’s the foundation of the hope that helps us to see beyond the current crisis, to a life where Christ has vanquished all suffering. It is, hands-down, the happiest day of the year.
This pandemic may be robbing us of many things that we hold dear, but don’t let it rob you of your Easter joy. Because Jesus gave us this Easter joy precisely so that the sufferings of this world would never have that kind of power over us. All is swallowed up in victory. And so, with that, please know of my prayers that each of you has a blessed, peaceful and yes, a happy Easter.