Alleluia! How exciting it is to be in the Easter season. After forty days of Lent and then the reflective and prayerful experience of Holy Week, walking along with Jesus on the road to Gethsemane, we finally made it to the joy of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. One of the beautiful gifts of our faith is that the celebration keeps going. We continue to celebrate the Easter season for many more weeks, and we are called to do just that: celebrate!
I grew up in a family of celebrators and I have, fortunately, married into a family of celebrators. I remember growing up as a kid and partaking in many family celebrations from Christmas and Easter to birthdays and anniversaries to graduations and, sometimes, for no real reason at all besides wanting to be together. I am grateful for these times because they really shaped me and have made me who I am today. Whatever adversity life throws at me, I genuinely try to find the good and find ways to celebrate, even if it might be challenging.
During these celebrations, which I now carry on with my own family, there was always food. My grandma was an excellent cook, a talent which she passed on to her children. We shared dishes from our Polish heritage, meals filled with delicious home-cooking, including fried chicken, mashed potatoes, or food brought in from one of our favorite local restaurants. The food was always plentiful, and the conversation and laughter, particularly from my grandma, was often as comforting as the food.
As we hear in the story of the Road to Emmaus during the Easter season, Jesus is walking along with two of his apostles who do not recognize that it is him. It is not until he breaks bread with them that they recognize that he is truly risen. There is a unique beauty in sharing a meal with those we love. Meals together nourish us physically, but also spiritually and emotionally. Spending time with those we love and celebrating being able to be together is a gift, a gift that, just a few years ago, seemed like something we would not be able to have again. It is important to take time to acknowledge the gift of being together and celebrate the sacrifices we all make in order to do so.
As we continue through the Easter season, I encourage you to find reasons to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, especially with those around us. Share a meal, make an invitation to a friend to join you for Mass, pray together, experience the beauty of nature in spring, or simply enjoy time spent with a friend or a loved one or a stranger. We can experience the joy of the Resurrection in a more profound way when we are able to do so with others.