Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Greetings

Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen! This is the traditional greeting in the Byzantine Catholic Church throughout the Easter season. These few words provide an inexhaustible source of meditation on the great gift of Eternal Life with Christ that we have been given.

On Easter Sunday, I was sitting in church next to my little six-year-old friend who noticed a keychain tag of mine that says "God loves you." She whispered to me, "God really loves you because you work for one of his saints." I whispered back, "God really loves you, too. He really loves all of us. That is what we are celebrating today." The insights of this little girl never cease to amaze me. In fact, I felt Pier Giorgio's presence through her on Holy Thursday evening. We had processed together after Mass to the chapel where the Blessed Sacrament would be exposed for one hour. I explained to her how Jesus asked His friends to spend one hour with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. She knew the story well. She went and begged her mom for permission to stay and spend an hour with Jesus. When her mom said she could stay for a little bit, she ran over to me erupting with joy. Immediately, I thought of how elated Pier Giorgio was when he finally got permission from his mother to receive daily Communion. "I won, Father!" he exclaimed to the Jesuit priest at school.

That same, uncontainable, childlike joy at being able to spend time with Jesus is the joy we can experience today. For Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!

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