Sunday, April 24, 2011

To Believe is More Than to Understand

Easter was fun, with the above quote being one highlight of the Easter morning homily. We also had a treasure hunt for the girls and our visiting Australian friends, yellow "Alelujia" eggs amongst the other hidden ones, and baskets with a few treats. Dinner afterward at my parents' house was chaotic (22 people) but fun and I appreciated several good conversations with old friends.

Someday, I'll try the vigil mass again - I think of my experience with it every Easter as the very best Easter I ever had: a committed Lent, followed by a three-hour Good Friday church vigil, a complete fast, and a six hour Easter eve service with no less than 12 readings. Charles was baptized, recieved into the Church, and confirmed; we celebrated with friends for hours afterward at a party that began at about 1AM; when Easter morning soon came I think I'd only slept for two hours. Despite the fuzzy state of consciousness (or because of it), I felt especially joyous all day.

St. Dominics' then-pastor Father Roberto had given a memorable homily that I think of every Easter, describing a town of believers in a Communist country, assembled to hear all of the logical reasons why belief is a hoax. After listening for hours to dismaying information, the villagers were given a chance to respond. They were silent, apparently stunned. "Victory," thought the coercive unbelievers. Then one man in the back slowly raised his hand. Walking slowly to the front of the crowd, he looked out with tears in his eyes, paused, then said in a voice so strong that it surprised all who were there, "JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN TODAY!" And the crowd responded, as one, "HE IS RISEN INDEED."

The joyful song we sang that day, after that homily, rises within me every Easter morning, "Jesus Christ is Risen Today! Alelujia!"

This bunny cake is a Madden family tradition - well, really a Milar-now Milar-Madden-Keefe-Angelo-Holland tradition. Did it start with my grandmother or great-grandmother? Mom?

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