The Pastoral View
WE ARE A RESURRECTION PEOPLE
We are called to live in great joy, the joy of those who live in the light of Jesus’ glorious Resurrection. We should be rejoicing every day, particularly throughout this Easter season, because by the Paschal Mystery of his Death and Resurrection, Jesus conquered death and opened the gates of heaven for us.
St. John Paul II repeatedly told us, “We are an Easter People and ‘Alleluia’ is our song!” Although he said this in Harlem in 1979, in Australia in 1986, and in Croatia in 1994, John Paul was not the first to recognize us as Easter People. The understanding that we are Easter People is an ancient, not a modern, concept. The first declaration of Christians as Easter People was made by St. Augustine in the fourth century, sixteen hundred years before John Paul.
Alleluia – what does it mean? The Hebrew word halle-lu-yah translates as “praise Yahweh” and is used extensively in the Psalms of the Old Testament. In the New Testament, it is found only in the Book of Revelation, where “Alleluia” is at the center of the worship songs of the great multitude in heaven. Just as “Alleluia” is the song proclaimed in heaven, John Paul tells us “Alleluia” is our song too, here on earth.
The Easter Candle is our reminder that we are in this joyous season of Easter. Easter didn’t end a few weeks ago on Easter Sunday, but is celebrated joyfully for the fifty days of the Easter Season, when all of the Sundays are treated as one “great Sunday.” Positioned near the ambo, where we hear the word of God, the Easter candle is lighted for all Masses from the Easter Vigil to the celebration of Pentecost.
In his Letter to the Philippians, St. Paul exhorts us, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice.” We are a Resurrection people – let us rejoice and sing “Alleluia!”
Dick Schiefelbein, Pastoral Council Member