Sunday, April 4th, 2021 By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

Today, we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ! Easter Sunday is the high point of the Liturgical Year. Even though Easter is a once-a-year event, our readings on Easter Sunday reveal how we ought to live out the joy of Easter all year long in our day-to-day lives.

Our Gospel reading from the Gospel according to Saint John, portrays the third day after Jesus’ death when Mary of Magdala visited Jesus’ tomb. Once she saw the stone removed, she ran to tell Simon Peter and John. They ran to the tomb as well, and upon seeing, they believed. We can tell the relationship that these disciples had with Jesus because of the way they responded when hearing the incredible news about Him — they “ran.” Mary did not see the empty tomb and think, “someone else will figure it out.” Peter and John did not hear the news and think, “I will check on it later.” They each responded with conviction as they “ran” for Jesus.

We must ask ourselves, “Do I have a relationship with Jesus Christ to the point where I am running to Him each day?” The way these disciples responded is how we should respond to Christ. We must avoid complacency, and as intentional disciples, we must stop rationalizing our choices by telling ourselves we will someday get around to putting God first. Every moment throughout our day is an opportunity to respond to God in gratitude, compassion, and eagerness. And although there will be moments when we do not “feel” like responding to Him, it is in those moments when we faithfully respond anyway that matters the most.

For the next 8 days, we are in the Octave of Easter and each day is as if it were Easter Sunday. The readings recount Jesus’ resurrection and the joy the Disciples must have felt. Each of the next eight days is a time for us to celebrate the joy of Easter. 

The whole Lenten season had been about denial and self-sacrifice. Now, let us celebrate this glorious day with prayer and feasting, for Christ is risen! He is truly risen! And let us strive to carry this Easter joy with us – not just for eight days – but all year long by how we respond to Christ each day. Happy Easter!