Scott Richert writes in “From the Chapel”: Over the last few weeks, I have mentioned…
From the Chapel — April 13: This is the feast
From the Chapel” is a series of short, daily reflections on life and faith in a time of uncertainty. As people across the world cope with the effects of the coronavirus — including the social isolation necessary to combat its spread — these reflections remind us of the hope that lies at the heart of the Gospel.
Here in northeastern Indiana, it’s rather gray and windy for Easter Monday, but we won’t let the weather dampen our spirits. Easter isn’t past — it’s present, and we will be celebrating especially during the octave, which ends with Divine Mercy Sunday, but also all the way through Ascension Thursday to Pentecost Sunday, when the 50 days of Easter finally draw to a close.
Yesterday, as on every Easter Sunday, I reread St. John Chrysostom’s Easter homily. When your spirits need a lift during this Easter season, it’s better than another Cadbury Creme Egg. I’ve always found it comforting during those years when my Lenten observance was frustrated (or frustrating), and this year — for many of us, perhaps the most frustrating Lent of our lives — is no exception.
Using the image of the vineyard owner who paid the last the same wage as the first, St. John calls us all to set aside any thoughts of failure and unworthiness, and to “enter ye all into the joy of your Lord; Receive your reward.”
The Lord is merciful; his “Kingdom has been revealed”; “For the Savior’s death has set us free.”
Through this Lent, and now into this Easter season, the Church has offered us many opportunities to receive plenary indulgences, even as we have been unable to take part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. God is merciful, and the Church is bestowing his mercy on us.
So join in the feast! Embrace the joy of the resurrection! Let us truly become an Easter people, grateful for the gifts that we have received in the midst of our poverty, in the midst of our unworthiness, in the midst of our fear and uncertainty for the future.
While so many of us are working from home and restricting our travels outside, spend this time wisely. Look for the opportunities to love those closest to us as Christ has loved us. Die the little deaths each day — deaths of pride, of anger, of jealousy, of greed — so that the love of Christ may rise again in the love that we have for each other.
“If any man be devout and loveth God, Let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast!”
This is the feast! Let us make the most of it.
Scott P. Richert is publisher for OSV.