For Christians, Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the most important date on the religious calendar.  Easter is still deeply tied to Passover, the festival that celebrates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Jesus was crucified soon after he arrived in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover feast. Easter marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and reflection. This holds the promise of victory over death, a new life and the forgiveness of sins.  The appearance stories we hear after are a reminder that the Risen Christ is identifiable to us. Stanley Marrow, S.J., a New Testament scholar, sums up the of this idea of the risen Christ as identifiable in his commentary “The Gospel of John”: “The risen Lord had to be recognizably and identifiably the Jesus of Nazareth, the man whom the disciples knew and followed, whom they saw and heard, with whom they ate and because of whom they now cowered behind closed doors… For him to have risen as any other than the Jesus of Nazareth that they knew would void the resurrection of all its meaning. The one they had confessed as their risen Lord is the same Jesus of Nazareth that they had known and followed. Showing them “his hands and his side,” which bore the marks of the crucifixion and the pierce by the lance, was not a theatrical gesture, but the necessary credentials of the identity of the risen Lord, who stood before them, with the crucified Jesus of Nazareth whom they knew.” The Risen One carries within himself the experiences of his humanity. Jesus Christ is fully human and fully divine.   This week:
  • Research some of the ways, across the world, Christians have developed many interesting ways of marking Easter.
  • Give some flowers to someone to mark the Easter season of growth and new life.
  • Pray for the souls of friends and loved ones who have died.
  • Give by putting someone else’s needs before your own this week.
  • Check out Busted Halos Animated .gifs for the first 8 days of Easter, reflect on them