Our young priest, filled with faith and fervor, opened his homily on Easter morning with a very enthusiastic, “Our Lord is risen! Amen! Alleluia!” With a huge smile, he then urged, “Can I have an Amen?” I excitedly opened my mouth, ready to shout out an—when the sharp elbow of our then thirteen-year-old son jabbed me in the side (yes, the one who had just told me he thought church was boring).
If there is ever a day for shouting out an “Amen” and for shaking things up, Easter is it! As sung in the Exsultet (Easter Proclamation) at the Holy Saturday Vigil: “Be glad, let earth be glad … knowing an end to gloom and darkness. Rejoice … let this holy building shake with joy, filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.” On Easter morning, Mary Magdalene could not be contained nor silenced after witnessing the stone rolled away and encountering men in dazzling garments, who proclaimed, “He is not here, but he has been raised.” Her world was rocked; she then shook up the apostles by voicing her stunning witness. Today, our parishes and homes are to be the holy buildings that shake; ours are to be the mighty voices that shout with joy!
Our culture tends to “celebrate” Easter with pastel candies, marshmallow peeps, chocolate bunnies, and new spring clothes. In fact, I suspect March Madness will be the highlight for many on Easter Day: shouting out for “nothing but net” baskets, shaking the floors for designated teams, rejoicing with extreme excitement over victories. Nothing wrong, but does our excitement over the resurrection—eternal life, ultimate victory—match our enthusiasm for a ballgame?
In many ways, even Christians have lost the power, beauty, and meaning of
Easter. Resurrection is earth shattering, mind-blowing, soul erupting, and order reversing. The One who has “wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness” has redeemed all of creation. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the gates of Heaven have been opened, the chains of sin and slavery have been broken, endless mercy pours out, life springs eternal, and love conquers—even death. Grace upon grace. Our Lord is risen, and so shall we! Amen! Alleluia!
Parents/grandparents name grace in the domestic church as first witnesses to the Risen Jesus. We name grace on Easter Sunday when our homes shake with joy for Jesus and our participation at Mass praises Him with “Amen” and “Alleluia”—even if threatened by an elbow! We name grace—“that He be Visible”--as we make Jesus known as Savior and friend through our humble prayer and service. We name grace as we witness to an absolute belief in eternal life; God will bring healing, goodness, and new life out of any sin, suffering, darkness, and death. Through Baptism in Christ, victory is ours! We proclaim with St. Paul, “Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?” Worthy of a shout out! Alleluia!
On Easter Sunday, our son, now in his thirties, will surely be cheering on a team for March Madness, but I pray he also shouts out an, “Amen” at Mass and receives Jesus in the Eucharist—the source of our salvation. Our victory lies not in a championship game, but in Jesus, who has rolled away the stone forever! Now, that’s GREAT news! Our Lord is risen! Amen! Alleluia!
Naming Grace in the Domestic Church reflects on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding parents in their vital task as “first witnesses” of the Good News in the home.
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.