“Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven, exult, let Angel ministers of God exult, let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!”
~ The Exsultet: The Proclamation of Easter
Even as we wait for our prayers for healing from COVID-19 to be answered, we know that Christ our Savior has risen from the dead and the promise of eternal life is ours to celebrate!
The joy of Easter is almost beyond our comprehension. God turns everything we know upside down with his victory over the Cross. Death passes over to life, sorrow becomes exultation and joy, and darkness becomes light. God will even transform the spread of the coronavirus. Today we are filled with the grace of salvation and the hope that in Christ we are destined for eternal life.
These are gifts to treasure and share… and they are sustaining us when we pass through moments of darkness and suffering ourselves. Faith teaches us that death is never the last word. The Resurrection is. Easter is the experience of new life that is even more sustaining in difficult moments.
Easter Sunday always brings back a flood of fond memories for me. Years ago, when I served the people of the Altiplano in Peru, the faithful would get up well before sunrise and walk to the edge of town to their chapel… a procession of parents, grandparents, kids, friends and relatives, too. People sat still with their lit candles and hearts full of anticipation. When the sun rose, I began Easter Sunday Mass, and the celebration would last almost two hours followed by music, dancing, food, and endless conversation! Their faith was total. Their joy was complete. So was mine.
Friend, as we confront the spread of coronavirus, Easter tells us that the sun will rise again. May the promise of Easter increase your hope on this greatest of Christian holy days. I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Easter.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer For Easter Sunday
O radiant dawn, shattering the night
of sorrow, grief, and loss,
rise in the darkness of this world
and in our minds, to scatter
all sin and sadness with Your
Easter blessing of peace.
O joy beyond all telling
fill our hearts to overflowing
with love beyond words.
May death flee at Your command
when life eternal covers the earth
as water covers the sea.
Lord Jesus, risen and glorious,
let Your truth take root in my life
that Your gospel may flourish
and bear fruit in everything
I say and do.
Help me to recognize You
in the poor, and in my brothers and sisters,
no less than in the Eucharist,
eternal memorial of Your
abiding love and presence.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph R. Veneroso