Living and Sharing the Graces of Christ's Resurrection
by Deacon Thomas Frankenfield
Once again we joyfully embrace the Resurrection of our Lord in the Easter
season. The 50 days of Easter are times that many of us do not capture and
enjoy as our Catholic Church wishes for us to do. For many, the week after
Easter is one of joy but as the days continue, we drift into our daily
routines, without embracing and enjoying the real fruits of the gift of a
complete Easter season. So the fundamental question for us to consider is,
"How do I live the fullness and completeness of an Easter Season that I have
conscientiously prepared for during the forty days of Lent?'
My Personal Journey
As I write this reflection, I am very aware that I have not given the Easter
season the energy that it deserves in order for me to reap the bountiful
benefits of grace that the Church and God have available to me. In order to
appropriately reflect on this area for improvement, I consider my actions
The most obvious evaluation is looking at my actions as compared to Lent.
During Lent I fasted, prayed and shared my treasures all the while looking
towards Easter. Honestly, I see myself as thinking of Easter as the
spiritual finish line. In that light, I judge my Lenten preparation in
quantitative terms. I ask myself, "...how many times have I failed my
fasting?" or "...how much time have I spent in prayer?" All of these are
only measured in the context of the 40 Days of Lent. I rarely look beyond
Easter Sunday, so often I miss many of the fruits of Lent's hard work. I am
focusing on the dark and not the light.
I remember leaving a movie theater and walking into a dazzling afternoon
sunlight. My first reaction was to go back into the dark theater because the
light was too much for my eyes. I had to wait until for my eyes to adjust.
How much more dazzling is the Resurrection. We need to call people into the
light and help them to overcome the temptation to choose darkness. The
Resurrection of Christ is an eternal call into the light of Christ. So, how
do I experience the brightness of this empty tomb in my life?
The empty tomb of the Resurrection was a beginning for all humankind and
changed the world for all eternity. So, in this spirit of the empty tomb, I
strongly we feel that the Lord would have us look at Easter as the total
opposite of the finish line - yes, a starting line. So, Easter People are
the people of the beginning.
Christ is Risen...Rejoice and Be Glad
One of the most important responsibilities of Easter People is to embrace
the Lord's victory over death and then act accordingly. Easter People don't
live in the darkness of our broken world but live in the light of Christ.
In other words, Resurrection of the Lord allows us to be aglow in the Holy
Spirit. It is a glow given to us by the Spirit so that others can be called
through us into the light of Christ. That may mean a variety of things to
different people but for me it means identifying the positive flows of grace
in my life. My positive attitude is a dramatic change for today's culture.
In a culture of negativity and gossip, we express positive attitudes and
show loving behaviors. In a world of "me first", we Easter People are
confident enough to live for others by making "Jesus first."
In Psalm 118 we pray, "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us
rejoice and be glad!" (Psalm 118:24) Truly everyday is a gift from God but
the 50 days of Easter are very special gifts. During these 50 days, the
People of God are called to live the Resurrection of Christ-to demonstrate
how life really does flow from death. We all have the joyful task of
showing how the dark crosses in our lives give way to the brightness of
empty tombs. This is radical. This is transforming. Most importantly, it
is to be shared with a broken world. Jesus' defeat of the death transformed
His suffering and sacrifice into a powerful stream of grace that travels
from this world into the eternal life of heaven. So, when we live our
relationship to the Risen Lord to its fullest, we are sailors on this stream
Living the Resurrection Today
Many now ask, "How is the power of the Resurrection lived in my life?"
First and foremost, be alive in the glow of the empty tomb by truly
forgiving others who hurt you. In overcoming death, we are called to rise
above those areas in our lives that can poison and decay our relationships.
St Paul calls us to "walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).
- Forgive those who hurt you. Life in the power of Resurrection goes
beyond the pain of relationship crucifixions by forgiving and allowing
ourselves to love and be loved. Bring all with whom you quarrel can into
the light of Resurrection. Let the empty tomb call you forth to
- Be a conduit of sacred presence. When a friend comes to us with a
problem, let go to the Holy Spirit. Let the transforming grace of the
Spirit flow through you and your life so they can experience the fullness of
- Rejoice in the People of God. Another way is to rejoice in the
beautiful diversity of the People of God. Easter people, make every effort
to embrace and celebrate our differences. From gender, to racial and
socio-economic stratification to the pains caused by our dissimilarities in
faith, Easter people respect everyone and strive for dialogue, in order to
rise to new life.
A Call to Change
So, once again we are called to change. The Lenten sacrifice has impacted
our hearts and minds, to make us more open to live the Resurrection's Light.
We are bearers of the light and the light restores hope. The Easter season
is truly a season of hope. My brothers and sister, we all know how hope can
be easily stolen in people's lives by cultural influences. Embrace the
empty tomb and overcome death! Each of us is called to take personal
responsibility for bringing the Resurrection's hope to others.
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Teach us to rejoice and be glad. Anoint us to be
your messengers of hope!
For Your Reflection
From a Ministry Perspective:
- How are you bringing the Easter message of hope to the people you are
- What are your personal obstacles showing other that the 50 days of
Easter are a truly a season of hope?
From a Family Perspective:
- Are you bringing the Easter message of hope to your family? Listen to
your family's words and look at their actions. Are they living death or new
life? How can you bring hope into those areas?
- Select one person in your Domestic Church to walk with in the newness of
life. Do something special with them every day-show the positive impacts of
the Resurrection's graces.
I would love your feedback, thoughts, stories and ideas. Please email me.
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