By Theresa Montminy
The Easter season, beginning on Easter Sunday and continuing for 50 days, is an opportunity for us to cultivate a spirit that defines who we are as Christians. So what does living the spirit of the Easter season mean in practical terms? Here are three concrete suggestions:
Live with Joy – Joy is a deep down gladness that cannot be taken away, even in the midst of sorrow. The Passion and Resurrection of Jesus teaches us that suffering is transformed through faith in the Risen Lord. With this faith, we are able to hold on to an enduring sense of joy even in the midst of the sadness we experience from the loss of a loved one, a failure to achieve an important goal, or even a setback during recovery from illness.
Live without Fear – The Resurrection teaches us that God can overcome anything, even death. When the Risen Christ appears to the women at the tomb and later to His disciples, his first words are . . . do not be afraid! These words speak to our hearts, helping us cope with the fear from the loss of a job, a serious illness or a crumbling relationship. Our faith allows us to trust that God can overcome our most serious problems.
Live with New Eyes – The Easter season reminds us to live with a sense of newness. Just as the return of Spring lifts our spirits and makes us feel like the whole world is new, the Resurrection of Jesus makes all things new. The Easter spirit is a spirit of renewal that enables us to show up at work with a positive attitude, to renew relationships that have been taken for granted, and to express appreciation and affection to those closest to us. It means to see the world through new eyes – God’s eyes!
If we are called to be disciples of Jesus, we are called to use these 50 days to cultivate an Easter spirit that enables us to be truly Christian: embracing joy, living without fear, and seeing the world again—as if for the first time.
Theresa Montminy is director of Mission Advancement for the Diocese of San Bernardino.