A blessed celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord to all. The celebration lasts 50 days, during which we hear and meet the risen Lord in his appearances to the apostles and the disciples. And so, too, he waits to meet us! I would especially recommend St. John’s Gospel, in which the risen Lord meets the apostles on the upper room and also meets with St. Peter and asks, “Do you love me?” St. Luke’s account of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus is also a wonderful meditation.
I was recently speaking about the Resurrection and Christian art in the churches of Rome, especially the churches with Baroque art. There we look up to the heavens to the risen Lord and not down to the Earth. In our daily life, do we look up or down? George Weigel , just last year, reflecting on the death (or “Passover”) of one of the most influential American Catholics of the last century, Flannery O’Connor, said, “Easter bids us to think high: very high. For Christ is risen and so shall his faithful people be.” He quotes O’Connor directly, which is a worthwhile reflection for all of us in the Paschal season:
“The virgin birth, the incarnation, the Resurrection…are the true laws of the physical. Death, decay, destruction are suspension of these laws…[It] would never have occurred to human consciousness to conceive of purity if we were not to look forward to a resurrection of the body, which will be flesh and spirit united in peace, in the way they were in Christ. The Resurrection of Christ seems the high point in the law of nature.”
Thanks to all of our parish priests, catechists, music directors and choirs, ministers, art and environment help, RCIA directors and teams who helped to prepare for the Paschal days. All involved in these holy days prepare the way for the risen Lord to meet His people once more.
Let us celebrate these holy days with all of their joy and beauty.
Christ is risen. He is risen Indeed. Alleluia!
The Most Reverend Kevin W. Vann, Bishop of Orange