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Easter Explosion

For 40 days now, we’ve been celebrating the great joy of Easter.  That’s right…it’s been as long now since Easter Sunday as it was from Easter Sunday to Ash Wednesday.  Time is flying by.  And with each passing day, the liturgical crescendo swells.  

Swells toward what?  Isn’t Easter the main celebration, the main event of Christianity?  Yes…and no.

Have you ever been to a fireworks display where you thought you had seen the grand finale, but minutes later what you previously thought was the most explosive and colorful and loud moment of the show ended up being a mere foretaste of true explosive power? The Easter Season is like that, and it’s about to go out with a bang.

The Paschal Mystery, that is, the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is in fact the heart of our faith.  As St. Paul says, if Christ is not risen from the dead, then our faith is pointless (1 Cor 15:17).  But as awesome and glorious as His Paschal Mystery is, it isn’t the grand finale.

We celebrate today the Ascension of the Lord, when He takes up His eternal place at the right hand of the Father, and next week Pentecost.  The Son goes up, the Holy Spirit comes down.  The apostles watched in utter amazement as they see Jesus raised up glorified, but then there were literally “fireworks” when, beyond the apostles’ wildest imaginations, the power of the Holy Spirit rained down on them, flooding their souls with faith, hope, charity, courage, and zeal.  The same amazing power by which Our Blessed Lord accomplished the will of the Father was now in them.  I bet at the end of each day of preaching, teaching, healing, and building, the apostles sat down exhausted but in tremendous awe of what the Lord was accomplishing through them.

This amazement can be and should be ours as well, as we are living in the grand finale of the Lord’s great work; it is ever unfolding around us.  Our liturgical celebrations are our participation in the mysteries of faith. Our daily lives are the place where the Lord is seeking to “show up,” manifesting His glory, kindness, and mercy.  Seeing with the eyes of faith will show us the incredible splendor, the radiating glory, the immense power of grace (God’s life within us) until He comes in glory.

Let’s ask for and yearn for a fresh and new outpouring of the Holy Spirit here at All Saints and in our personal lives, to recognize and rejoice in our place in God’s grand finale.

The Lord is risen, alleluia!
He is risen indeed, alleluia!
Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!
All you holy saints of God, pray for us!

Peace in Christ,
Fr. Michael