Easter Sunday will soon be with us, and the fasting and penitence of the Lenten Season will give way to the celebration of Easter. For our society this is a holiday like any other holiday; a single day to overindulge in sweets and other foods.
But for us, the celebration of Easter is more than a single day of celebration. The Easter or Paschal Season is 50 days in which we celebrate the great gift of salvation that God has given humanity. The scripture we hear, over this time, depicts the many interactions Jesus had with his disciples between the time of the Resurrection and the Ascension, and it describes the great joy that the disciples felt in the presence of God. And all of this leads to the descent of the Holy Spirit, at Pentecost, on the disciples but for all of humanity, ensuring that God would always be with us.
These 50 days that follow Easter Sunday are days of joy and contentment which is more than simple happiness and pleasure. This kind of joy is like a strong current that runs deep beneath the stormy surface of your daily feelings. This is what was felt by the two men on the way to Emmaus when Jesus walked with them. They felt that something was different in the presence of this unrecognized man for his very presence lifted the sadness they felt in their hearts. They did not know why but their hearts were filled with joy.
This joy is the celebration of walking with God. It is a sense of security that can only come from being held in the arms of our loving God. It is peace, knowing that God accepts you for who you are and that he wants you to be a part of his church and to be eternally with him in heaven.
May God grant you a Blessed Easter Sunday and a Joyous Easter Season
Fr. Edward Gibney
Associate State Chaplain