The Lord’s triumph, on the day of the Resurrection, is final. Where are the soldiers the rulers posted there? Where are the seals that were fixed to the stone of the tomb? Where are those who condemned the Master? Where are those who crucified Jesus? He is victorious and faced with his victory those poor wretches have all taken flight. Be filled with hope: Jesus Christ is always victorious. The Easter season is an anticipation of the happiness Christ has won for us with his victory over death. Our Lord was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification, so that, by abiding in him, our joy might be complete
The Paschal season stands at the summit of the liturgical year because the Christian message is the joyful announcement of the salvation brought about by our Lord’s “passover,” his passage from death to new life. Asd St Jose maria Escriva reminds us: “Easter is a time of joy—a joy not confined to this period of the liturgical year, but to be found really and fully in the Christian’s heart. For Christ is alive. He is not someone who has gone, someone who existed for a time and then passed on, leaving us a wonderful example.”
Although only the few who were chosen by God as witnesses were present at the appearances of the Risen Christ, the liturgy now enables us to re-live these mysteries. As Pope St. Leo the Great preached, “All the things relating to our Redeemer which were previously seen, have now become sacramental rites.” The Eastern Christians’ custom of exchanging the paschal greeting expresses their awareness of this reality. The greeting “Christos anestē, Christ is risen!” is answered with “Alethōs anestē, Truly, He is risen!”
The Latin liturgy pours out its joy in the Exultet of the Easter Vigil. On Easter Sunday, in the beautiful Introit, it expresses this joy more succinctly: “I have risen and I am with you still. You have laid your hand upon me. Too wonderful for me, this knowledge” We reverently put in our Lord’s mouth, in the form of a burning filial prayer to the Father, the inexpressible experience of his Resurrection at first light on that Sunday morning. Saint Josemaria in his preaching encouraged us to draw close to Christ, to grasp deeply the reality that he is alive today. “I wanted to review with you, briefly, some of the ways in which Christ is alive today—Jesus Christ, yesterday and today, yes and forever (Heb 13:8)—because this is the basis of all Christian living.” Our Lord wants us to talk with him, and talk about him, not as a figure in the past, as someone we remember, but perceiving his “today,” his presence here and now, his living companionship.
I am rather late in producing the Bulletin this week. Please accept my apologies. Finally, please remember I am only at the end of the phone and may I thank those who have phoned to ask after my welfare and those who have sent Easter cards together with Easter gifts and Easter offerings. By post or pushed them through the letterbox. This has been very touching and is much appreciated at a time like this when we are all inevitably concerned about other matters.
Many thanks May we all have a truly Blessed Holy Week