Easter Sunday was always a pretty dress, a pretty basket, and possibly the first time to wear sandals for the year – even though Mom would make me wear white knee-highs with them. After Mass, there was the candy! When we were young, we always gave up candy for Lent. But the bunny had come, and our yard (or house if there were snow) was littered with chocolate! The confusion was whether or not to take the time to open and eat the little foil packets of heaven, or to just run to find more. Once the big and little morsels had all been found, we didn’t even have to sneak to eat it – we ate as much as we wanted. I suppose that we looked like little bunnies all hopped up on sugar. This continued – it wasn’t just Easter for one day at our house – it was Easter for a season!
However, a Season can be hard to maintain. We understand the duty to celebrate Easter Sunday, but we can’t forget the Octave. From Easter Sunday to Divine Mercy Sunday – it’s all Easter! It’s all the big day. There should be an extravagance to each of the days. Then, Easter is 50 days long! We need to bring the joy of the Resurrection right to Pentecost. It is a season of celebration!
Time out – We love our 40 days of Lent. We have Facebook posts about cleaning 40 bags of excess out of our homes. We give up a host of food and drink, we attend Stations, we get to confession, we give alms – in short, we are “all in” for Lent. Good! But who would want to belong to a Church with just 40 days of Lent? Not me.
Holy Mother Church has not given us just 40 days of Lent. She gave us 40 days of Lent followed by 50 days of Easter! Sign me up!
It’s Easter for 50 days! We must sustain the joy, the rejoicing, the extravagance!
We made plans for the 40 days of penitence, now we must make plans for the 50 days of rejoicing. Have friends to your home, take a slow walk around the lake, linger in conversation. Let’s decorate our homes for the season; have fresh flowers by the crucifix, and put your palms from Palm Sunday around holy statues and pictures. And celebrate!
We were all in for Lent. Now, surprise yourself and be all in for the 50 days of Easter!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!