Faith & Life

RISE UP, OH CHRISTIANS

Keep the Easter Spirit Alive, Spiritually and Practically

By Cathi Douglas     4/24/2018

It’s easy to capture the spirit of Easter on Resurrection Sunday. With Jesus risen, our spirits soar, we sing the “Alleluia” and enjoy a joyous meal at the altar in His name.  

The celebration keeps going when we return home to find that chocolate bunnies await. 

Brand-new feelings of renewal and new growth that begin on Easter Sunday are perfectly matched with spring – the leaves are sprouting, the birds are singing, and flowers are beginning to bloom. 

Still, it can be tricky to keep the spirit alive, so to speak. We need not think that lightheartedness must elude us, however, just because the calendar marches on. Indeed, keeping the Easter spirit alive in our hearts and prayers is critical for Catholics: Christ’s rising on the third day is the lynchpin of our faith. 

Daily prayers acknowledging the season seem to ‘spring forth’ easier when we can look out the window to gaze at our blooming garden. We sing “Alleluia” knowing that Jesus recognizes our happiness and gratitude for His Easter resurrection.  

The resurrection of Jesus makes all things new, notes Loyola Press in a recent story. “The Easter spirit is a spirit of renewal that enables us to show up at work with a positive attitude, to renew relationships that have been taken for granted, and to express appreciation and affection to those closest to us,” the article notes. “It means to see the world through new eyes – God’s eyes.” 

While the passion and resurrection of Jesus teach that suffering is transformed through faith in the Risen Christ, Loyola Press says, our faith means we can retain our sense of joy even when life gets in the way. The loss of a loved one, failure to achieve an important goal, or a setback during recovery from an illness are bearable. We recognize Jesus’s suffering. His rising is freshly imprinted in our minds. 

“The resurrection teaches us that God can overcome anything, even death,” Loyola Press declares. “When the Risen Christ appears to the women at the tomb and later to His disciples, His first words are ‘Do not be afraid!’ Our faith allows us to trust that God can overcome our most serious problems.” 

Beyond permeating our spiritual lives, the risen Christ inspires us to make small changes in our lives.  

Right away we can regain the born-again emotions sparked by Easter Mass by exploring the outdoors in glorious spring weather. Take a picnic to the park. Feel the breeze and smell the flowers. 

Prune hedges and flower beds and consider planting fresh vegetables and fruits to welcome summertime. Enjoy the new buds as flowers begin blooming. 

Beyond producing hot cross buns as an Easter tradition, why not continue baking into the spring months? A colorful frosted cupcake is a way we show someone special that we’re thinking sweet thoughts of them. 

Change your menu from heavy winter dishes to lighter fare. Think pasta primavera instead of meatballs and spaghetti. Use springtime to try new recipes featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables. 

Chocolate bunnies won’t last long. Yet our long Lenten sacrifices yield a spectacular new coming for our Savior – and a new day for us all.  

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