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HAPPY EASTER! We made it! Lent is over and it is Spring! But, just what are we celebrating today? What is Easter all about?

If Easter had not happened - Christmas would have no meaning. If the tomb was not empty, the manger makes no difference. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then he really was just another misguided person at the time with delusions of being the promised messiah. If Easter is not true, then Christmas is just one more Hallmark story about a cute little baby born in an out-of-the- way village in a forgotten land 2000 years ago. It’s Easter that gives Christmas its meaning.

Easter is the very foundation of Christianity. Jesus rises from the dead and He is God. His death and resurrection happened on the most important of all Jewish feasts, the Passover, and fulfilled all that the Passover had meant. It was an exodus, or passage, from the days of oppression and slavery to spiritual freedom. Jesus was the Paschal Lamb (Pasch, from Hebrew Pesach, meaning “Passover”) slain and sacrificed to achieve this freedom. Jesus’ resurrection was the beginning of a New Covenant with God. A Covenant freeing us from the slavery of earthy temptations and delivering us into God’s world of happiness – spiritual growth through our sufferings while finding peace with the blessings He gives us.

What is Easter all about? As we hear in the Exsultet, the proclamation decreed at every Easter Vigil since the 5th Century “THIS IS THE NIGHT, WHEN CHRIST BROKE THE PRISON BARS OF DEATH, AND ROSE VICTORIOUS FROM THE UNDERWORLD. OUR BIRTH WOULD HAVE BEEN NO GAIN, HAD WE NOT BEEN REDEEMED!

Easter is about our Christian roots and celebrating what Jesus did for us.

May you have a joyous and Blessed


Deacon John

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