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“The Lord is truly risen. Alleluia!”

On behalf of all the Jesuits I want to wish you a blessed and joyous Easter.

These eight days of Easter constitute the Easter Octave; the Church looks at each day as one continued Easter Sunday. As the world, understandably perhaps, moves on from Easter and on to the next thing, the Church in her wisdom wants us to savor the amazing fact that Christ died and rose from the dead. That takes more than one day to contemplate and grasp.

St. Paul says, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is worthless, and so is your faith.”  (1 Corinthians 15:14) We need to spend the Octave and then all of Eastertide (50 days in total – 10 more than Lent) to let this fundamental fact sink in. All the fasting, penances, spiritual reading and works of charity only make sense today because Christ rose from the dead.

So, how do we become more cognizant of this historical event? I think it is by following the Church’s example by not rushing on to the next thing. There are 50 days of Eastertide – not five minutes. Fifty days to let this all sink in: to pause; to savor; to enjoy; to rejoice; to reflect on the fact that the Lord Jesus was eager to save you and in no way regrets all that he went through.

“If Christ has not been raised,” then everything we might do here is worthless. And that’s the point. Life is not worthless. We have been saved and are destined to do great things here on earth and to rise in glory with him.

Take time this Easter to stop each day for prayer and to allow yourself to rejoice in all that the Lord has done. Alleluia!