I hope you had a lovely Easter. We did! We went to Easter Vigil on Saturday. It was our parish’s first Easter in the new church building. Before we moved into the church this past fall we had our weekly masses in a school gymnasium. We had our Easter services outdoors at the site of the new building each year. Right under the stars. The deal was you brought your own chairs from home. This was a brilliant idea and ensured that everyone had a seat.
This year it wasn’t going to be like that—so I insisted that we got there plenty early. We arrived at 6pm and the Easter Vigil wasn’t going to begin until 7:30pm. Oh yah, we got seats. We arrived even before the RCIA candidates and their families arrived. It gave us plenty of time to pray and prepare our hearts for mass.
The Easter Vigil service was so lovely, as it is each year. At our parish 38 people went through Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. I began to reflect upon the number of people who came into the church worldwide that night. I would estimate at least a million…..how thrilling!
My favorite part of the Easter Vigil (except, of course, for the Resurrection Gospel) is after the Easter Candle is blessed. Then a few people’s candles (everyone has a candle) are lit from that Easter Candle. Then eventually everyone’s candle is lit as people pass the flame from candle to candle…then the whole congreation’s candles are ablaze….like Christ’s light in each of us.
It always moves me….begins with one tiny flame and spreads everywhere.
I am sure you know where I am going with this. Use your little light to shine and to spread light to others….pretty soon the dark cave is ablaze….
That makes me feel a bit hopeful that I am making a difference in the world. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by life….but if I can journey to Easter Vigil in my mind and see the imagery of the candles it gives me strength to continue and carry on.
Do you temember the song “This little light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine?” In the song there is a verse that goes something like this…”won’t let anyone blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine, won’t let anyone blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine, won’t let anyone blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”….
Perhaps that is the determination I need to maintain. Sometimes a conversation with someone can completely deflate me despite my best efforts to remain positive. I wish I knew HOW to ensure that that won’t happen. Yes, I really do. I do not like feeling lousy inside–that old recognizable ‘i’m a loser’ feeling…..BUT Easter tells us that God loves us and paid the price in full…..He says to us ” I Rescued You”!
There are people He places in our path that link us back to Him. Just like in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”, our lives have made and continue to make differences in people’s lives. We don’t always see it….
My husband, son, and I had a lovely Easter filled with conversations about how much we mean to each other…we shared memories of past Easters….we watched the Wizard of Oz. I was still sorry to see that Dorothy didn’t remain in Oz and marry the scarecrow. We watched a wonderful Hallmark movie about a wonderfully inspiring teacher….
I thank God for the good in my life. I pray for the strength and grace to handle the challenges and difficulties that lie ahead. I rejoice in my risen Lord. He is truly risen, Alleluia.