I can honestly say this has been one of the best Easters of my life. It wasn’t crazy beautiful or picturesque but it was real. I’m just starting to break the surface of what it means to be fully living for and with God and this Easter was a true testament to that. For as long as I can remember Easter has been waking up early, looking for Easter Baskets, going to mass (and zoning out) and then having brunch with my dad’s side of the family. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved those Easters so much and I loved being with all of my family, but I never really quite understood the gravity of the day. I was celebrating Easter, not the Resurrection.
“I was celebrating Easter, not the Resurrection.”
I knew this Easter season was going to be different starting on Ash Wednesday. Normally, when it comes to choosing something to do, or give up, I go with something I want. I go on a diet or “work out every day” (which never happens) and while those things may be great they never brought me closer to the cross, and to Christ, like Lenten promises are supposed to. This year I really discerned what God wanted me to promise Him and the fruits of following His will have been abundantly overflowing. As the Triduum approached (a word I just learned talking about the three days leading up to Easter) the gravity of what was about to occur finally began to sink in and I started to prepare my heart.
I was blessed to visit my sister and celebrate Easter with my family this year at Franciscan University and their Easter celebration is something I’ve never experienced before. The Triduum was similar to my church back home but the Easter Vigil was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Starting off in complete darkness, we read through Salvation History and when they finally got to the new testament we lit our candles to symbolize the light of Christ coming and then the whole church came to life as the lights turned on and we began to praise God singing the alleluia. It was so beautiful, students were lifting their hands in praise and I was moved to tears. It was the first time that it sunk in, Christ rose from the dead to save us.
“It’s REAL! It isn’t just something we profess on Sundays and then forget about right after. It is the happiest, most beautiful, event in human history and it deserves to be celebrated as such.”
Life Teen’s Instagram caption today really said it all, “The resurrection of Jesus is not fiction, it’s not a myth… Jesus died. His heart stopped beating, His lungs stopped breathing and His whole body was stiff as Rigor mortis set in. His body was cold and the tomb was silent. Now imagine that same man began breathing again, that heart started beating again and now the body of the man was even better than before. The resurrection of Jesus was no fairy tale, no medical miracle, it was the power of the Spirit of God. A real Spirit. A Holy Spirit. A Spirit that lives in you.” It’s REAL! It isn’t just something we profess on Sundays and then forget about right after. It is the happiest, most beautiful, event in human history and it deserves to be celebrated as such.
So, how did Franciscan University do this? After the Vigil they have a Resurrection Party from 12am until 3am. It’s an all-night party with pizza, hot wings, drinks, rides, a live band, and tons of dancing. How amazing is that! Like, they literally throw a massive party in celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and it is so fun and good. It is a testament to how insane and real the Resurrection is. Everyone was overwhelmed with joy at the end of a season so dry and full of fasting. It’s a feast worthy of the King and His presence there is so tangible. It really was a gift to experience it.
“Everyone was overwhelmed with joy at the end of a season so dry and full of fasting. It’s a feast worthy of the King and His presence there is so tangible.”
What was your Easter like this year? How are you celebrating His Resurrection this week. Have a dance party, even if its just you in your room. Invite Jesus’ divine and resurrected self to be with you as this Easter season comes to a close. Our puny minds have no clue how great the Resurrection truly is, but I can imagine all the saints and angels up in heaven having a massive dance party just like Franciscan and I can’t wait to join them one day in our Resurrection…