Finally, Sunday morning. Easter dawned bright and sunny, a wonderful Spring day. We did not add any Masses this Easter weekend, but rather celebrated our two normal Sunday liturgies ... and were they packed. Everyone was there and most were decked out in their Easter finery (although there were very few "easter bonnets" like in the old days). It is always wonderful to see so many people at these Masses, but it will be disheartening to see so many less this weekend coming. I always make it a point to thank those who are present, to welcome visitors from near or far, and on occasions like Christmas and Easter, to sincerely welcome those who attend only on these special days ... letting them know that we miss them and that they have a place to go on Sundays.
This year I spoke specifically and directly about the cost of our freedom and salvation (the death of Christ); about the emptiness and void that we will experience when all else fails us if we do not know Him; of the fact that without Him, without His Church, and especially without our participation in the celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays, we face death. It is not an option. It is a vital necessity. My goal was not to frighten, but to remind those present of the marvelous truth revealed in the empty tomb, in the risen Christ.
Easter was indeed as joyous as it was exhausting. I hope your celebrations were worthy of the sacrifices made by our risen Lord and Savior. We continue to live this Easter celebrations throughout these eight days.