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Making Easter the Cornerstone of Our Year…

Making Easter the Cornerstone of Our Year…

It is near impossible to overstate the significance of Easter. It stands out as primary and unique for at least three reasons.

1. While the focused celebration of Easter is for a set time—first an intense week (eastern Christianity has the lovely name of ‘Bright Week’), then stretching out to fifty days—this celebration is entirely predicated upon permanence. Indeed, this celebration is only possible if it is perpetual.

2. What is celebrated here is everything that is most worthy of celebration, and therefore this festival gives reason for all festivity. Any true joy finds its deepest root in the joy of this celebration. This is not exaggeration; it aims to be a precise formulation.

3. Not surprisingly then, this festivity is not just a matter of ‘something worth celebrating’ in life. Easter festivity done rightly is the ultimate expression of human life itself. Again, not exaggeration but seeking precise formulation.

Such reflections might make us short of breath. How then can we possibly do our Easter celebration well? Will not all our efforts necessarily fall short?

This question takes us to the center of human life. There is nothing to fear here. Simply to be human is to be a part of the most extraordinary drama imaginable. Our part in the drama is precisely this: to do our given part the best we can. And this especially means opening our hands and hearts to receive shockingly grand gifts. . . gifts that do demand much of us in the receiving of them.

Our Easter observance should be understood under that rubric—this is how we receive and enact the gifts we are given. It is always about the long-haul, the long-term cultivation. And taking a specific day, and week, and weeks is an exercise in cultivating (and being cultivated in) the life we are being offered.

Is it strange that this is but one season in the year? Here Josef Pieper (the inspiration behind these reflections) reminds of us a plan beyond our constructing: “The Christian Sunday is an emanation of Easter.” What we practice at Easter is what we then practice every Sunday of the year. And what we practice each Sunday is what we carry into every day of every week.

Thus, we have the perfect plan for our temporal existence. Our annual Easter celebration takes us explicitly to the beating heart of our life; and this life-giving blood flows through every Sunday into every corner of our life.

Our existence is a great paradox. We are made for a life that is ultimately transcendent, which in its truest form will be different from how we tread this earth. But that transcendent life can and should permeate our workaday existence here below. Indeed, our workaday existence is precisely where that life takes root, and grows like a plant.

So Easter, and those little Easters called Sunday, are anything but passing intrusions. Rather, these observances done well animate and transform this utterly unique thing called human life, with all its burdens, labors, cares, and even agonies. Our celebrations have the power to bring all these things to their proper fulfillment: already now in the daily fields of our labors; and then later, when such celebration breaks forth in its native land. Indeed, our native land. ~ ~ ~

FOR PRACTICAL ADVICE ON SUNDAYS: TODAY’S NEW PODCAST RELEASE: SUNDAY IN THE HOME: A PRACTICAL APPROACH

John Cuddeback

Husband, father, and professor of Philosophy. LifeCraft springs from one conviction: there is an ancient wisdom about how to live the good life in our homes, with our families; and it is worth our time to hearken to it. Let’s rediscover it together. Learn more.

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Peace : a lesson from greek mythology.