May the joy of the Risen Christ touch and transform your lives! I pray that the peace that Jesus offered to the apostles and those gathered on that first Easter morning will be experienced personally and profoundly by each of you. I am reminded of St. Augustine's thoughts on the experience of Lent and Easter:
“Because there are these two periods of time - the one that now is, beset with the trials and troubles of this life, and the other yet to come, a life of everlasting serenity and joy - we are given two liturgical seasons, one before Easter and the other after. The season before Easter signifies the troubles in which we live here and now, while the time after Easter which we are celebrating at present signifies the happiness that will be ours in the future. What we commemorate before Easter is what we experience in this life; what we celebrate after Easter points to something we do not yet possess. This is why we keep the first season with fasting and prayer; but now the fast is over and we devote the present season to praise. Such is the meaning of the Alleluia we sing.
Now therefore, brethren, we urge you to praise God. That is what we are all telling each other when we say Alleluia. You say to your neighbor, “Praise the Lord!” and he says the same to you. We are all urging one another to praise the Lord, and all thereby doing what each of us urges the other to do. But see that your praise comes from your whole being; in other words, see that you praise God not with your lips and voices alone, but with your minds, your lives and all your actions.”
May this Easter season be a time of profound celebration. May we savor the richness of Christ’s victory over sin and death. May we take time to prayerfully reflect on God’s desire to save us from sin and death. May each of us know in our hearts how Christ has saved us. The more particular and concrete our awareness, the deeper and richer our gratitude will be. May this Easter be a time of overflowing gratitude for the gifts of life and faith. May we respond generously to all that God has done for in the work of redemption!