St. John Neumann Catholic Church

Houston, Texas

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Whose Easter is it?

The above question--Whose Easter is it?--may sound silly if not downright stupid. Why, of course, it is Jesus' Easter! No doubt about it. Jesus is the one who died on the cross and was buried. Jesus is the one who rose on the third day. Jesus is the one who ate and drank with his disciples after he rose from the dead. Yes indeed, it is Jesus' Easter. 

Why, then, do some of the prayers and readings of this Easter Sunday seem to indicate that this is our Easter, too? For example, in the opening prayer of this Easter Sunday Mass we pray, "Let our celebration today raise us up." In 
today's second reading (Colossians 3:1-4) Saint Paul says, 
"Since you have been raised up in company with Christ. . . ." In our prayer after Communion we ask God to "bring us to the glory of the resurrection. . . ." In today's final solemn blessing we hear, "May you come with joy to the feast which lasts forever." 

These examples make it apparent that the risen Jesus wants to share the limelight of Easter with us. Jesus did not rise from the dead just to put on a "really big show" that would leave us bedazzled and wishing, "Golly, if only we could do that!" Jesus rose from the dead precisely so we could get into this Easter scene, acting it out, not just slouching in the audience like a bunch of bored couch potatoes. 

Our part in the drama of Easter begins today when we renew our baptismal promises. At baptism the seed of resurrection was planted deep in our souls. One day that seed will burst into the full fruit and flower of our own rising from the dead to new life. 

Our reenactment of Easter climaxes when we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus. Jesus does not give us his dead, lifeless, buried Body. We receive the risen, vibrant, ever- living Jesus. ALLELUIA! 

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