Joy is in the Air: Celebrating the Great Fifty Days – By Mary Malloy

joy-is-in-the-air-celebrating-the-great-fifty-daysThe Easter season speaks new life to us in so many ways. Here in the Midwest, where I live, pansies and crocuses are blooming, seedlings are flourishing, gardeners are preparing the soil for the spring planting, the sun is shining, and joy is in the air.

Joy is in the air! For the People of God it sparks as the fire is lit in the dark of our most holy night, as the story of our ancestors in faith is told, and as the abundant waters of Baptism are poured. Joy is in the air in the sweet fragrance of Sacred Chrism, and as we take our place in the magnificent procession to the Table of the Lord where we say with faith and hope renewed, “Amen!” We believe!

Joy is in the air as we sing again, with full voice, on-key and off-key, our Easter Alleluias and the hymns that define the season and remind us of what has happened in history, and in our midst today. Alleluia! Alleluia! Let the holy anthem rise! Jesus Christ is risen today! I know that my Redeemer lives! ¡Resucitó! This is a day of new beginnings!

Joy is in the air, and we need to take time to savor, celebrate, appreciate, and cultivate this Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. The Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the General Roman Calendar remind us that the Great Fifty Days, from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday, are to be celebrated “in joy and exultation as one feast day” (see UNLY 22).

So, make a plan! What will you do to bring more joy into your life this Easter Season? Will you savor a good spiritual book, take longer walks in the light of early evening, or begin a gratitude journal to capture the joys each Easter day brings? Will you take time to find a new Easter outfit that outwardly express the change that has taken place within you as you prayed, fasted, and gave alms throughout the forty days of Lent? And how will you cultivate joy in your home? Will you create an Easter candle for your family prayer table, spring clean the windows to let the sunlight in, or try a new recipe for an Easter dessert?

Consider ways to share Easter joy with those you work with, live near, study with, or communicate with from afar. Call or write the person who has been on your mind and in your heart. Make room at your table for neighbors and neophytes. Revisit the Works of Mercy, and make a commitment to live these practices so that others may come to know the Good News of Jesus Christ, our true reason for Easter “joy and exultation”, through you.

Help your students and the children, youth, and families you serve celebrate this season of joy, too. Go to RCLBenziger.com for a listing of Easter resources for students and teachers, including: Preparing the Easter Table and Welcoming the Alleluia; Celebrate the Saints and Solemnities of Easter; The Blessing of Seeds; Adorning an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary; The Spirit’s Presence; and more!

Christ is risen! Christ is truly risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Joy is in the air!

Mary Malloy is a Senior Editor for RCL Benziger.

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