Monday, April 9, 2012

The 8th Day

“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name and you are mine.” Isaiah 43: 1

Happy Easter! He is risen, alleluia!

How was your Lent? Did you accomplish all you wanted to do? Did you keep all of your fasts? Did you abstain from meat on Fridays? Did you offer up all of your other sacrifices and grow in holiness the way you wanted to?

Or perhaps you feel short of your goals? Perhaps you found yourself at the end of Lent wishing you had tried harder, done more and been better. But isn’t it great that while the Church observes forty days of Lent, She celebrates FIFTY days of Easter!! So maybe you didn’t succeed as much as you wanted this Lent. The good news is that there will be another Lent next year for you to try again. But the best news is that we are an Easter People and now is the time to celebrate!

The Church reminds us that Easter is the 8th Day”—the day that the new creation begins! The reality is that because of Original Sin, all of us are going to fail at one time or another. All of us are going to fail. But the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection allow us to rejoice in the fact that He wants to make us into a new creation! Death has been defeated and the work of our redemption has begun. In Christ we do not simply get covered by the grace of Christ, but the grace of Christ envelopes and penetrates into our lives and by cooperating with this power of God we can be made whole, we can become something new and the old will pass away!

It is time to stop wallowing in self-pity, misery, pain and anger. We need to allow God to heal us, love us, hold us, nurture us, sustain us, empower us, CHANGE us!! Easter is NOT the time for hanging heads, dragging feet or heavy hearts. It is the time for rejoicing and renewal. Our hearts should be light, there should be a spring in our step and our heads should be held high with the joy of Christ’s victory fresh and full on our faces, in our smiles and gleaming from our eyes!

Even if we are suffering from sickness, grief or pain, the Resurrection points to a greater reality for us. We may even be scared or hurt, but the power of Jesus can reign in our hearts as we live in the hope of redemption. While there will still be suffering and persecution I this world, we know that this world and death is not the end! Our redeemer lives and when we are in Him, we live and we will live forever with Him!

So come celebrate with the Church for the next fifty days. Not because you were so good in Lent, but because Jesus was so good on Easter!! O death, where is your sting?

Dear Jesus, thank You for the 8th day, the day when the work of redemption in the world and in my heart was begun. Help me to live in the reality of Your resurrection! Amen.

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