Easter Sunday is the most solemn celebration of the entire Church year.  Pope John Paul II said:

“…Christ’s Resurrection is the strength, the secret of Christianity. It is not a question of mythology or of mere symbolism, but of a concrete event. It is confirmed by sure and convincing proofs. The acceptance of this truth, although the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s grace, rests at the same time on a solid historical base.”

At the heart of Christianity is this mystery of the Resurrection of Christ from the dead, who destroyed/conquered death and gives us a hope for the promises of salvation.  Nothing in the New Testament was as powerful as the miracles of Jesus bringing the dead back to life.  It was spiritual but more specifically it was concrete and indisputable that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, raised the dead to life.  He also, being the one who sacrificed His entire life and lived His mission “to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mt. 20:28)” suffered a horrific passion, died a humiliating death on the Cross but three days later amazed even His most devoted followers by rising from the dead and overcoming death.  This is life because Christ is life.  He truly is “the resurrection and the life (Jn. 11:25)”.

2 Lessons for the classroom:

1) The amazement at Jesus bringing the dead to life and then He Himself rising from the dead was concrete and tangible, something not only spiritual but something seen with ones own very eyes.  Let us remember that the sacraments show us something very tangible and concrete. They have the power to grace us with God’s healing, strength, joy, and life giving love.  Show students how the sacraments are so important and have the power to impact and change our life – actually bringing us to life.

2) Every Sunday is a mini-Easter.  The reason why we celebrate in New Testament times the 3rd Commandment on Sunday is that the followers of Christ remember the first day of the week (Sunday) as the day that Christ rose from the dead.  Share with your students (as often as you can) how Sunday is not only a time to gather with fellow believers and worship God but it is a time to be renewed in our faith in the Risen Christ.

This reality of the Resurrection is at the heart and soul of our Catholic Faith and the mystery of salvation.  Let us truly rejoice!  God be with you this Octave of Easter and throughout these 50 days of Easter.