In his homily at the Easter Vigil Mass, the Holy Father described so profoundly that, “At Easter, on the morning of the first day of the week, God said once again: ‘Let there be light’. The night on the Mount of Olives, the solar eclipse of Jesus’ passion and death, the night of the grave had all passed. Now it is the first day once again – creation is beginning anew. ‘Let there be light’, says God, ‘and there was light’: Jesus rises from the grave. Life is stronger than death. Good is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Truth is stronger than lies. The darkness of the previous days is driven away the moment Jesus rises from the grave and himself becomes God’s pure light. But this applies not only to him, not only to the darkness of those days. With the resurrection of Jesus, light itself is created anew. He draws all of us after him into the new light of the resurrection and he conquers all darkness. He is God’s new day, new for all of us.” (Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI, Saint Peter’s Basilica, Holy Saturday, 7 April 2012)
Truly a new day has dawned. And remember, because we are in the Octave, it is still Easter for another five days. The ‘Te Deum’ can be recited every day in the Liturgy of the Hours and the ‘Gloria’ is proclaimed at Holy Mass. The beautiful lilies and other flowers in the front of the church represent new life and their fragrance speaks of the grace of God. Fr. Maurice Belliere, one of the priests that Therese was permitted to correspond with, wrote to Therese for Easter 1897, the last Easter of her life. He wrote that, “Our Lord is allowing us to pitch our tent today on Thabor, which only yesterday was set up at the foot of the Cross on Calvary; yesterday, tears and mourning, today, joyful Alleluias. How can one better rejoice and sing than in a family? I come, then, to my sister and my Mother to thank Jesus for the joy He gives us after having accepted our penance during Lent…” (Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux, Vol. II, LC 177)
Maria and I attended the Easter Vigil Mass and welcomed the newly baptized into the Church. It was a glorious liturgy – all 2 hours and 40 minutes of it! On Easter morning my parents and my 90 year old Grandmother came out to PA from NJ and enjoyed an Easter brunch with me, Maria, and my in-laws. Easter is truly a celebration that one must share with loved ones! Happy Easter to all of you!