Easter Sunday Reflection

Reflection for Easter Sunday by Father Jan Nowotnik, Director of Missions at the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

Easter Sunday reflection by Fr Jan Nowotnik, Director of Missions.

Easter for me has always been a special time, in fact, it is my favourite time of the year. The days are getting longer, brighter, and hopefully a little warmer as we see the signs of new life around us. The promise of this new life echoes the glory of the resurrection which once again we celebrate with great joy. So, this truly is the day, which was made by the Lord, we rejoice and are glad!

The joy we feel at Easter is not a passing joy, but rather a deep and radiant joy which comes from the Lord’s victory over sin and death, and we share in this joy through the very gift of baptism which is at the heart of our Easter liturgies. We believe that the Lord is risen and so the entrance antiphon to our Easter day Mass proclaims the faith of the Church on this day; ‘I have risen, and I am with you.’ (Psalm 138). So, Easter is the time when we really learn to trust in the Risen Lord who accompanies us on the journey of life, just as he did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus when he helped the disciples to see how he is with them every step of the way.

The disciples on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognise the Lord immediately, something prevented them from seeing who it was they were speaking with, it was only at the moment of the Breaking of the Bread that they realised it was the Lord and they knew that what they felt when their hearts burned within them was the Lord’s presence. They gain the courage and the peace to be true disciples of the Lord and witnesses to His Resurrection.

When we gather at Mass on Easter day, it is a moment for us to appreciate all the Lord has done for us as we listen to the Scriptures and when we receive Him in the Eucharist. Like the first disciples on the way to Emmaus our hearts burn with love for what we have received when we truly know that the Lord is with us and like them, we are compelled to announce to others the joy of the Lord which is planted deep in our hearts.

Or to see it another way we are like the women who go early in the morning to the tomb and encounter the Risen Lord and go back to the disciples to tell them what has happened. Celebrating the Lord’s resurrection gives us confidence to proclaim to others, including those who sit with us in Church, what the Lord has done for us. Easter improves our capacity to trust in what the Lord is doing for us and compels us to be missionary disciples, men and women who share with others what we ourselves have received.  

May our celebration of Easter this year bring us the deep joy of knowing that through our baptism we are renewed in the love of Christ who suffered, died, and rose from the dead so that we may have life, life in abundance.