Easter Week 1
The Resurrection and the Mission of the Christian
Week 1: April 12
The Easter Octave
We Catholics tend to observe Lent with gusto: Stations of the Cross, parish retreats, penance services, and so on. But then Easter arrives, and just when the celebrations should really be starting, we can actually find that our fervor is diminishing.
It is Easter, though, which the Church considers to be “the Solemnity of solemnities.” During the 50 festive days of the Easter Season, which the Church celebrates as if it were one single feast day, the Church exults in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the foundation of our faith and the source of the mission which God has given to each one of us through baptism.
Because in baptism we are made sharers in the death and resurrection of Jesus, from the earliest times the Church has seen Easter as the time for the celebration of the sacraments of initiation. This makes Easter the perfect occasion for each one of us to think about what our own baptism means.
Now, it is probably impossible for us to think about the Resurrection of the Lord without also bringing to mind the eternal life that God has prepared for us. And yet, as hard as it is to imagine anything better, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is not just about the next life; it is about this one, too. The Resurrection means that the Kingdom of God has in fact been launched here on earth, just as in heaven.
And there is even more. Through baptism, we are the ones who have been given the job of building up that Kingdom. The Church teaches that at the moment of baptism each one of us - lay or ordained, young or old, rich or poor, male or female – became nothing less than a sharer in the threefold office of Christ as priest, prophet, and king. So if you are baptized, God has given you a job to do. You have been enlisted into what has been well described as “God’s rescue mission.”
For almost all of us, the place where we are called to carry out this missionary activity is right at home, in the places where we live and work. There are many ways that we can do this, but over the course of this Easter Season we will be looking at one in particular: our work in the public square. We hope you can journey with us for the next seven weeks.
Reflect on the sources found in Chapter 1 of our e-book, The Resurrection and the Church's Mission in the Public Square.
Almighty God, thank you for the great gift you give us of being your sons and daughters. Open our hearts and minds to the graces you pour out constantly, that we may continually be renewed to think and act in union with your heart and mind. Bless our efforts to become witnesses to the Gospel in ways great and small, but especially in the ordinary conditions of our day-to-day lives, with our families, in our work, and in our communities.