I get it. I really do. Easter bunnies and candy and colored eggs are a part of our culture’s celebration of Easter. And, they no doubt bring back lots of memories from our growing-up years — mostly good memories, like mine. But bunnies and candy and eggs have nothing to do with the Church’s celebration of Easter (except maybe eggs; they are symbols of new life).
For Christians, Easter is the most important day of the calendar — even more important than Christmas. Easter makes us who we are! Easter makes us who we are, because the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ set the pattern for all those who follow him: Just as he died and rose, we die and rise. Not just at the end of our lives, but even now. A story I read is an example of “resurrection living:”
In 1855, William Richardson and his brother founded the place that is now Athens, Texas. He brought with him 14 children and 18 slaves. A marker at the city limits lists by name the children and slaves of Mr. Richardson. Among the slaves listed appears the name, “Easter.” A slave named Easter. I would like to have met Easter‘s mother, who no doubt lived in slavery, who lived without freedom, without autonomy, without the dignity of self-determination, but who also lived in the resurrection hope and the resurrection power of God, who did believe that she and her daughter, even though not cherished and valued by humanity were cherished and valued by God and that one day, her daughter would be called out of the tomb of slavery into the sunrise of a new day called resurrection and on that day, God would have the final word.
Indeed, Easter is Christianity’s most important day; but we don’t have to wait a whole year to celebrate it again. Each Sunday (the day of resurrection), we remember and celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection. The Catholic Church considers weekly celebration the minimum to be strengthened in our identity, to give thanks for our salvation! An hour a week (of 168 hours) seems like the least we can do.