Friday in the Octave of Easter
So the Easter egg hunts are done. At our house, we've eaten all the candy, save for a few jelly beans. Yet it is still Easter! The great thing about our Catholic tradition is that we have no holds barred when it comes to the Resurrection. We celebrate, lavishly, for eight whole days.
At our house, we try to have special foods most days of the Octave of Easter - we let the kids choose their absolutely favorite foods. One day is always "boxed" mac and cheese (which we parents usually forbid), one day we usually walk to a local ice cream store. In doing these special foods, we try to embody the newness and utter extravagance that Easter brings, with its conquering death by Jesus' death.
It is a very small way of living out this crazy new life that resurrection in Jesus brings. The thing I'm noticing in today's scriptures is that celebrating Easter is all about response. In today's reading from the Acts of the Apostles (4:1-12), we see Peter - who only last week was denying Jesus - loudly proclaiming to all who will listen that Jesus is Lord and he is risen. I imagine the kind of changes Peter had to make in his own life to move from denial to proclamation. But I know - just as he proclaims in the gospel - that the reason he can make that difficult, crazy change is because Jesus is Risen!
In today's gospel (John 21:1-14), we see the disciples vainly trying to catch fish. Jesus stands on the shore - they didn't know it was him - and says, try again. So they try again, for the umpteenth time.
I think that's actually a pretty tough, courageous thing they did! After all, how many times do we want to give up after trying, and trying, and trying, and trying, and trying? Why would a stranger from far away convince us to do it yet again? But they did - they recognize that there was a point to having another go at it - and in a post-Resurrection world, they succeeded! They caught many fish. Of course this reminded them of when Jesus called them to be "fishers of men." Of course they recognized the risen Lord in this action.
What Christians believe is that Jesus' Resurrection still touches our lives today! Jesus still calls people to live this Resurrection life! We have so many examples of people who have done amazing, crazy, lovely, wonderful things because Jesus is Risen!
So the question for us today is: what are we doing because Jesus is Risen? What are YOU doing, today, right now, because Jesus is Risen?
- Jana M. Bennett