Of all his feasts, Sr. Matilda thinks Jesus loves Easter best

This week's reflection is written by
Rev. Richard R. DeLillio, OSFS

Ninety-two-year-old Sr. Matilda looked up at me and asked: Do you think the Easter season is celebrated with as much joy and energy in heaven as it is here on this earth?” Before I could reply, she answered with absolute surety, “It sure is!” When we consider Sister’s question, it does contain terrific insight. Why? For Jesus, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity has accomplished His mission. He has returned to His divine household renewed and alive sitting again at the right hand of His Father. His delighted Father is no longer saddened by Jesus' pain and suffering. The Father rejoices to have Jesus home now that God’s created family is once more back in God’s good graces.

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Jesus especially loves Easter because Easter celebrates the resealing of the severed bond between God’s creation and the creator. Jesus wished to restore this union because He knew how much His Father missed them. Ever since Adam and Eve’s betrayal, God longed for creation’s return. Sr. Matilda added: “Easter restored creation’s destiny. Once again the last chapter of our lives is now safe and secure with that awful stain of original sin of our first parents gone.” She added: “And with that removal, the gates of heaven are reopened.”

Before Sr. Matilda added another word, Sr. Rose, a spry ninety-four-year-old, continued “Now when our time comes to leave earth, God welcomes us with open arms embracing all as we enter.” Then I added these pertinent words from St. Francis de Sales: “It is a consolation to realize that the relationships begun on earth will continue in heaven.” As indeed they will with huge smiles, wide grins and joy filled conversationSr. Rose had the last word singing, “Jesus Christ has risen today and because of it so will we.”

Easter causes heaven’s angels and saints to smile because they know heaven has a steady and growing population. God our Father waits ready to give generously the gift of resurrected life and an eternity to all new comers. He gladly does this to all who hear the word of God, accepts it as truth, and embraces it with gratitude. This is yet another reason why heaven shouts for joy on Easter morn.

Since the first Easter when the three women found the tomb open with the stone rolled away this day is celebrated with jubilant enthusiasm. Jesus, our Redeemer, continues working non-stop for our salvation. In fact, he is so devoted to wanting no one lost the He never takes a day of vacation. He pledges to work until every part of our body and earthly existence is risen and alive. Jesus desires that new life will flow over all that is still lifeless in our hearts and soul.

Jesus will work until our stubbornness is softened. He wants our laziness replaced with excitement. He wants our weariness refreshed with eagerness, dispelling lingering darkness. Jesus remains in working mode until He sees everyone wrapped in the fond embrace of His Father’s love.

At any given moment of our days, Jesus is aware of where we are on our journey. If He sees us climbing a mountain too steep to manage alone, He accompanies us making the climb easier. Jesus strengthens our steps with stamina and determination keeping us trying until we reach the top.

Jesus is aware that grasping this exciting new life is difficult, hidden as it is in the smell and sight of flowers or the warming touch of gentle breezes. However, when we do, it gives grace of enormous power.

It can heal and transform ordinary lives into something extraordinary. What Jesus wants in exchange is our belief, our willingness, and our frequent reaches for handfuls of this new life filled with hope, love, and Easter joy.

This Easter gift reaches us through Jesus touching us as He did the young girl in Scripture, where He said: “Tabitha, Rise up and Live.” Jesus pours new life to a part of our lives that needs newness. Jesus may not take our pain or hurt away, but He promises to give us the grace to bear it. And at Easter, Sr. Matilda believes He still speaks to us, saying: “My followers, rise up and live each day well.”

Sr Matilda is making an important point. On Easter we celebrate a God who loves us without end. He did it so that no one would be lost. And until this very Easter, it is still The Lord Jesus’ mission. Are you ready to help by living anew? Happy Easter Season!