Easter and Christmas

I always found it interesting that society as a whole embraces the Christmas story…creche scenes abound and the story is told and sung of a child being born in humble surroundings.

For Easter, we have bunnies, jellybeans, colored eggs, and flowers!

And yet, the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place is because it is the birth of the one who died and rose from the dead. Without Easter – the Resurrection – there would be no need for Christmas. The 2 cannot be separated.

Personally, I’ve always felt much more drawn to Easter. It is after all the celebration of what forms for us the context of our lives: death and resurrection. Here it is that we find the meaning of life – not summed up in a pithy phrase but in the complex reality of death and resurrection.

I wish you and all those you teach a very blessed Triduum. I offer one piece of advice: go into these 3 days fully aware of how the story “turns out.” We don’t celebrate Holy Thursday and Good Friday as though we are sad and then turn happy on Holy Saturday, as though we need to act surprised that Jesus is raised from the dead. Jesus IS risen! We know that already. We commemorate Jesus’ suffering and death with reverence but with the knowledge that this suffering, and ours, is transformed.

We will meet again here next week when we will joyfully proclaim: Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

About Joe Paprocki 2704 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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