It’s more than one day: Pope Francis reminds us to continue to share Easter joy Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

In our fast-paced world, it seems as if one holiday is barely done and we’re starting to get ready for the next one on the horizon.

This is especially true in the greeting card sections of our stores. The Mother’s Day cards have been on display for a few weeks (even though Mother’s Day was a month away at the time), and the graduation cards are on the racks. Before we know it, the Halloween cards will be making their appearance!

We should have time to savor each special day in our lives and not be rushing past any of the religious or secular holidays.

Continue to celebrate Easter

However, Easter should be the definite exception to our quick celebrations. That’s because Easter is more than just one day, as Pope Francis reminded thousands of visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Easter Monday. In fact, he told them to celebrate Easter all through the week — and beyond.

Pope Francis encouraged people to continue reading about the Resurrection. As reported in a Catholic News Service article, he said, “Remember this week to pick up the Gospels, find the chapters about the Resurrection and read them — a passage from those chapters each day. This would do us good.”

The pope also led the recitation of the “Regina Coeli,” the Marian prayer used from Easter to Pentecost.

He urged those in the square to let their Easter joy be evident in the way they think and interact with others. “Let us allow the joyful awe of Easter Sunday radiate in our thoughts, gazes, attitudes, gestures, and words,” he said.

Learning from the joy of Mary

Telling the crowd that they could wish each other “Happy Easter” all week long, he said Christians can learn Easter joy from Mary and the other women who mourned Jesus’ death and were transformed with joy at his rising from the dead.

“Think of the joy of Mary, the mother of Jesus,” he said. “Just as her pain was intimate — so much that her soul was pierced — so, too, her joy was intimate and profound and the disciples could draw from it” like drawing water from a spring.

Pope Francis said Mary never lost hope. “We have contemplated the suffering mother, but at the same time, the mother full of hope. That is why she is the mother of all disciples, the mother of the Church and the mother of hope.”

Recognizing that with the resurrection, Jesus conquered death and promises eternal life to those who believe, the pope said, Christians are able to shine “a ray of the light of the Risen One on different human situations: on happy occasions, making them more beautiful and preserving them from selfishness; and on sad situations, bringing serenity and hope.”

Observing Divine Mercy Sunday

I’m sure Pope Francis would also encourage us to observe the Sunday after Easter — Divine Mercy Sunday. This year, both Blessed Pope John Paul II and Blessed Pope John XXIII — two well-loved popes — will be canonized as saints in the Catholic Church on Divine Mercy Sunday.

Not only did Blessed Pope John Paul II establish this Feast of Divine Mercy in the year 2000, but he died on the vigil of that feast, just five years later on April 2, 2005.  His last written words, recorded from his deathbed, called for a greater acceptance and understanding of Divine Mercy.  He ended with the words “Jesus, I trust in You, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

God promised St. Faustina — through his revelations to her — that there would be a forgiveness of sins for any person who went to Confession and received Holy Communion on the Feast of Divine Mercy.

These all all reasons for continuing to share the joy of Easter throughout this week and the year to come. Happy Easter!