Final Countdown of Easter ’22

May crowning of Our Lady at Aquinas Academy, Pittsburgh (note flower crash on right: like ourselves!)

As we make our way into the Ascension of Jesus and the expectation of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (even with the great help of Mary in May), perhaps we realize that we haven’t lived the Easter Season as prayerful, joyful or service-oriented as we hoped we would. In other words, we realize that we are still weak, and that although the Resurrection of Jesus is the greatest of his miracles, it doesn’t mean that we are instantly and definitively converted and forever changed, as if by magic. Instead of those realities bringing us down, however, I think we need to look at the last days of Easter through the eyes and personalities of the Apostles waiting to receive the necessary graces to carry out their mission to preach the Gospel to the whole world and baptizing all nations in the name of the Blessed Trinity. In other words, by this point, if anyone felt inadequate to carry out their mission it would be the Apostles! For example, Jesus has to drill into the heart and soul of Peter that his job is to preach the Gospel and rule the Church as a loving shepherd: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep” (Jn 21:17). Love is the new mode of transmission of the Good News, and we all (beginning with Peter) need to learn it well!

I think also at times we experience trepidation about the end of Easter and the coming of the Holy Spirit because we actually fear losing some of the weaknesses and bad habits which have become familiar like an old friend, which have become “a part of us”. I was thinking recently about families moving to new homes. They look forward to the “new place” because it’s bigger, or has more conveniences, or is closer to family and friends, or whatever, yet there is also some sadness at leaving what we know, as well as all the memories that are bundled in the place (“If those walls could talk…!”). So it is with our spiritual lives: we want to improve, grow, and move on, yet there is hesitation of leaving what is known, and entering the unknown. Of course, this is what a relationship with God is all about: entering deeply into the mystery of God himself by offering ourselves into His service and ways. That is why Jesus says “Follow me” at the end of his conversation with Peter, and Jesus says the same to us! Let’s rejoice in the “Final Countdown” of Easter 2022, wherever it may take us!

I couldn’t help including this medieval version of Europe’s 90’s hit. Yes, it took me almost the whole video to realize it’s just one person playing all the instruments. I’m slow on these kinds of artistic processes…

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