If you’re like me, in past years, I would judge an Easter to be good or bad based on criteria like the weather that day. “What a beautiful Easter that was, it was 65° and sunny! We ate outside!”
Maybe for you it was based more how much the kids liked their Easter baskets. “The school vacation week was on Holy Week last year,” some might say, sighing. “The kids had to go back to school the day after Easter, so they had a meltdown that night when we got ready for bed; their routine was totally shot. That was a nightmare. It’s better when the vacation is after Easter.”
It could be about how good the ham was at dinner or how well the relatives got along… or how long (or short) their visit was, depending on how much we enjoy their company. “Uncle Charlie never knows when to leave…”
For me, it often comes down to how well the Holy Week services went. Did the catechumens’ in-laws show up for the Vigil as we hoped? Did the music go well? Did the cantor hit the notes?
This year, all of that stuff seems laughable, doesn’t it? Do you remember how bent out of shape we used to get over things that, now, in light of what we’re going through, seem absolutely trivial?
This Easter is great… because we’re alive. Because we’re not among the 18,000 Americans or among the more than 7,000 people in New York State alone who have died of COVID-19. It’s great because the very fact that you’re taking time to read this means you haven’t run out of food yet… or you have at least enough money to get you through this week. People who don’t have those things don’t read parish newsletters. They’re too desperate to survive.
This Easter is great because the fact that you’re reading this means you’re connected to a community… which is something millions of lonely people wish they could say. Even if you’re not a member of our parishes, the fact that you’re holding this in your hands means you have the Willy Wonka “golden ticket” to come connect with us. Reading this is the exact same as a fancy invitation with a gold foil-lined envelope. We want you to be a part of this family.
This Easter is great because even if we don’t make it through this, we know that we’ll somehow be okay. We know that death is not the opposite of life, and that it’s only when death appears to have finally won, and dealt the winning blow, that we see the full magnitude of God’s power.
Jesus has saved us. Not from dying… but from death, which is a million times better. And that’s why, despite all that’s going on this year, I can say and wholeheartedly mean…