Sunday, April 24, 2011

Redefining Easter

Ah, Easter. A celebration of chocolate, Jesus and ham (not necessarily in that order)..
Easter in my family has always been a holiday about more than chocolate, Easter baskets and ham. Its always been a church holiday, and being raised Catholic my siblings and I could tell you the story of Easter front and back once we all got through six years of Sunday school and countless Sundays at church with my parents. Lets see, 52 Sundays x 18 years.. you get the picture. However, as we have all aged, I think its safe to say that none of us attend church as regularly as we did (that's being generous), I'm sure much to the dismay of my parents.  

In the spirit of Easter, last week my mom said she had an article about holy week that she wanted to send me. I have to say I was skeptical. U.S. Catholic is not typically my leisure reading material of choice, but I quickly found out why she thought of me upon reading it. And I have to say, I'm glad she did.

The article, coincidentally entitled "Are We There Yet?" was all about Holy Saturday. For those of you who need a quick refresher (and a lesson in theology), as I did, Holy Saturday is the day in between Good Friday, the day Jesus died, and Easter Sunday, the day Jesus rose from the dead. Now despite your religious views, I bring this to light because in this religiously charged article I found a very universal message, and something that I am constantly preaching about on this very platform. 

Oh yes, it was all about waiting. Remember waiting? Its something I never talk about and have all the patience for in the world (if only you could hear the sarcasm as it rolls off my tongue). Holy Saturday is kind of the loser. The runt. The forgotten day. Being the day in between two very big days, it is really just a day full of waiting. On the surface, something of little importance. But if you know anything about me, you'll understand why this struck a chord. I am both familiar with and equally struggle with waiting. With patience. With an uncontrollable future. 

Having breezed through the Lenten season (sorry Mom), I now felt this small connection between my life and things like scripture, homilies and gospels that I could never wrap my head around. Once I could relate to this on a personal level, it forced me to look at Easter in a new light. 

What I took from the article was simple: most of our lives are Holy Saturdays--the seemingly unimportant time in between the good and the bad, waiting with silence and hope that there is something better on the other side. But really these "seemingly unimportant days" are the most important of them all. They make all the good in our lives possible. There is no Easter Sunday without Holy Saturday. In layman's terms, you have to endure the waiting to get to the celebration, whatever that may be. 

For me, my relationship is my Holy Saturday. This waiting, this test of patience, this (at times) unbearable separation, this exercise in endurance is the time in between. The dues I have to pay before I get my Easter Sunday--normalcy, stability, togetherness, a new life, and the loads and loads of love that come along with it. 

While I do still struggle with my role in my own religion and faith, its encouraging to find this connection however small it may be. Its good to look at your life through a different lens every now and then,  and this Easter I am thankful that I was forced to do just that.

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