In most years, the week immediately following the end of Lent, or Holy Week, is filled with outright celebration and joy. It is easy to climb out of the depths of sacrificial living and up the mountain of celebration. And that is what we are called to do during Easter Week. Each day is equal in essence to the day of Easter itself, and we are asked to pause our pursuit of suffering in order to acknowledge and pour forth gratitude for the magnanimous gift of Our Lord’s death on the cross and Resurrection from the tomb. We are supposed to wash our faces once more and walk out among men as those whose souls have been redeemed by Christ’s ultimate sacrifice. And in that respect, this year is no different from any other.

The difference between this year and others, however, is the spirit of the world around us. We are in a somewhat unique time; unique at least to anything else in our lifetime. States and countries find themselves in partial or total lockdown as we fearfully wait out this global pandemic we know very little about. Before even states closed down essential businesses, our Bishops in their great wisdom saw fit to close Churches, and in many places, to put a moratorium on dispatching the sacraments to the laity. (I’m not here to talk about my thoughts and feelings about that decision, although perhaps we will hash that out another time.) So it has been weeks and weeks that most of us have felt the separation, not only from one another, but from Our Lord.

Easter finally arrived and… again, most of us continue to be separated from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Practicing our faith may not be about our feelings, but it is so distinctly difficult to gush forth the joy of the Resurrection when we still so deeply feel the separation from Our Lord, as we are meant to during Holy Week and His Passion.

How do we move past that hurdle, past the urge to remain in a state of sorrow, even to wallow in our perceived misfortune? Even writing this now is the closest I have come to formulating an Easter post after our Daily Lenten Series. It is a struggle. And it isn’t about to end overnight.

Since Easter Day, more has come to pass. Christ’s empty tomb has been discovered. The women have informed the Apostles of His absence, and he has come to see them. Doubting Thomas has asked for proof of the Resurrection, and he has received it and embraced it. And we must, too. Even if it is easy to have a mentality of “we’ll celebrate when things are better,” or “until I place my finger into His wounds,” we need to move past this and accept that Easter has come, and Christ has completed His sacrifice for us and risen again inĀ triumph over evil. There is nothing left to fear, my friends, except our own propensity towards despair and against a pure and dutiful faith.

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