Alleluia! Alleluia!

Categories: Features

(Image courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art)

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia! Alleluia!

We are in the midst of the Octave of Easter.  Like Christmas, Easter Sunday does not last for one day but for eight days.  For eight days we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord with the highest solemnity and abundant joy.  We sing out “Alleluia!” with full voice and with awe-inspiring chants.  After forty days of holding back on singing this particular word of praise, “alleluia,” (and trying not to be the one who forgets to omit it when we pray the Liturgy of the Hours together), hearing this word resound in the chapel has that much more resonance in the soul.  After forty days of the somber, penitential season of Lent, the celebration of Easter is all the more joyful.  And the festivities do not end after eight days – the season of Easter lasts until Pentecost, for a total of fifty days.

I remember a lifelong Catholic telling me of her surprise when she first learned that the Easter season is actually longer than Lent, that the austerities of Lent are meant to lead to an even longer celebration of the Resurrection.  “That makes all the difference!”  she told me.  Indeed, keeping where we are headed in mind makes all the difference for what we do in the present, imbuing it with purpose and meaning.

In the present, we joyfully celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord, for the sake of praising God and in order to reinforce in our minds and hearts the central mysteries of our Faith and our hope.  In Christ’s subjecting Himself to death and then rising in victory over death, He has redeemed us, giving us the way out of the bondage of sin and inviting us into God’s glory through His humanity.  We celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, knowing that this mystery also holds the promise of our own resurrection at the end of the world.  As St. Paul says, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep: For by a man came death, and by a man the resurrection of the dead.  And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.” (1 Cor 15:20-22)

Let us then continue our celebration, praising God for His marvelous deeds, both in the events of Christ’s life and in our own lives, always eager to be more and more united to Christ, especially in our festivities.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Br. Paschal Strader, O.P. | Meet the Student Brothers in Formation HERE