We crossed the finish line! Maybe it wasn't pretty. Maybe we limped, crawled or were carried by friends those last 100 feet. It doesn't matter how we crossed, but that we did! This is when the marathon analogy changes. We are not "one and done" marathon runners. Instead, we are lifelong marathoners. This means that we continue to run marathons. It means we will have to train again and that there will be more miles and Heartbreak Hills to run. It means that just because we reached Easter, doesn't mean the temptations stop and we're suddenly perfect in all virtue. Our final finish line is Heaven and that will be when we can finally rest in the arms of Jesus. It is then we will receive our crown and untie our sneakers. So until then we must keep running! But for now, we have just finished an amazing race and this is our recovery period.
The Church invites us to stop and really ponder The Resurrection of Jesus. We'll find that it's still difficult to grasp. Jesus did not receive recitation, nor is He dead. Jesus is alive and bears His wounds. The Resurrection shows us that life is not just about the world we know, but that it goes beyond. It challenges us because we like the world we know. We like our homes and towns, and where we get our milk and who we see regularly. We like our routines, our leisure and our things. We like our world as we know it, and the more comfortable and familiar it gets, the harder it is to meditate on what's beyond. (And that we will eventually go there!) That is often why illness, injury and sudden death shake us up. It is then we realize that we in fact know very little about "life." We know very little about what's beyond. Jesus wants to change that! Jesus wants to show us and teach us about what's beyond. That's what the Easter season is all about. The readings at Mass for the next 50 days are all about Jesus revealing to His disciples the mystery of The Resurrection and the glorious life He is living. He is still with us!
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
(Fifth reading from the Easter Vigil)
Let our hearts and minds be open this Easter season to let the Risen Lord teach us and show us the life to come. May we be aware of the distractions and ways of this world that still grab for our attention and dismiss them. May we have peace in discovering life after death.
Mother Angelica, rest in peace.
Happy and blessed Easter!