“The Mass is ended, Go in peace to love and serve the Risen Christ and our neighbor. Alleluiah! Alleluiah!”
“Thanks be to God, Alleluiah, Alleluiah!”
This is the greeting we hear from the priest when he dismisses the congregation after the Eucharistic celebration until the octave of Easter. Octave means eight (from Latin, octavius), it is the 8th day after Easter. The Easter season extends 50 days on until the solemnity of the coming of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost.
Throughout the Easter season, Christians can still greet anyone with “Happy Easter or Blessed Easter.” Easter is not just a one day celebration on the Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead. In fact, every first day of the week, which is Sunday, is a day to celebrate with new life and new hope, as Jesus, the first born of all creation blessed the first day of the week when he rose from the dead.
Easter is the mother of all Christian feasts. It is when God’s promised salvation was sealed and completed. The Lord has kept his covenant forever that he will save us from all our enemies and from all evils. He is such a faithful and just God. Easter then is a daily celebration of light as Christians are obliged to share the light of Christ.
Have we really celebrated Easter solemnly, focused and in full attention? Were you mindful in every part of our Easter prayers and memorial rites in the liturgical celebrations of the Church? Or are you still tired from your vacation in the beach or mountain resorts where you had spent your Holy Week? How was your swimming, drinking and partying during the Holy Week? Or did you just “sleep and eat and sleep” during the entire week as you were so exhausted from your demanding work and hectic schedules? Can you say that it was a good Holy Week and Easter experience? Was it worth it? Was God part of it?
The Lord did His part. He did his best and performed well, He delivered to its fullest – He got killed and died for us. Have we died with Him? Had our “old self” died with Christ? Had we seen the light—the Risen Christ? Had we accepted Him in our lives?
Jesus is the light of the world. And His light shines throughout the four corners of the world. Because of Christ’s light, in effect we become children of the light. When we live in the light of Christ, we can walk in the right and correct path towards God. When we live in light and we are in the light, we can share the light and radiate with others the rays of the One True Light.
The light of Christ is for all men and women of good will. The light of truth and life is being shared with all—Christians and of other faiths. For the love of God, the love of Christ is for all. And when one is in the love of God, he/ she is loved by God, he/ she has to share the love of God through his/ her light of truthfulness and hopefulness.
We are an Easter people. The Easter people are a truthful and hopeful people. The people of the Resurrection share the one true light—Jesus, the Risen Christ. There could be many sources of light, but there is only one true light. God is light, true light from true light; true God from true God.
I would like to share a beautiful story about the Light. So one day:
The disciples had returned from their peace pilgrimage and were sharing their experiences.
The first one spoke movingly about the Hindu pilgrims, braving the biting cold, climbing the mountain with the name of Ram on their lips, on the way to the holy shrine.
The second one happened to visit a mosque. He was struck by the devotion of the worshippers offering namaz.
The third saw a Christian nun attending to the ulcerous wound of a leper. He was touched by her act of compassion.
The fourth who happened to visit a gurudwara recalled the scene of the hundreds of poor people being fed. He was moved by the act of charity.
Then, the Master quietly said, “There are many colorful lamps, but the Light is One.”
We may have different faiths, religions, belief systems, and cultural traditions but there is one that we all share. There is One Light, which is Truth, and the Truth is God. We have many colorful lamps that give and share light, thus, there is One True Light—GOD. For other monotheistic religions, Light is a common metaphor for God. And for Christians, the Light is Jesus, the Risen One.
After our Lenten observance and our suffering and dying during the Paschal mysteries of our Lord Jesus, we shall now harvest the fruits in the Easter season. But how? We shall make a checklist if indeed we have risen with Christ last Easter Sunday.
1. Have I received the light of Christ and shared it during the blessing of the new fire last Easter vigil?
2. Have I renounced evil and is works and renewed instead my baptismal promises and declared my faith with pride?
3. Did I really rise with Christ last Easter Sunday?
4, Have I become a light to the world?
5. Have I inspired others with my life, works and relationships?
6. Have I shared the Easter blessings with others?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, the Risen Christ, thank you for saving me from my sinfulness and making me live again as a new creation. Your resurrection from the dead had made the world afresh in your love and mercy. Thank you for the blessings you shared with me in this Easter experience and celebration. May I become worthy of your love and unending mercy. Be my lamp in my steps, be my light in my path as I work for truth with hope. Amen.