March 28, 2016
It will be Easter when you receive this letter of mine and I hope that just as life rises anew at Easter, so the world will arise to a more intense Christian life. Receive as a greeting the interior peace which only men of good will can have and whose possession is for us Catholics what is best.
—From a letter written from Pier Giorgio Frassati to Fritz Beck, 1923
Pier Giorgio Frassati was born on Holy Saturday, 1901, and he was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II during the Easter season eighty-nine years later. He lived out the joy of Easter every day of his life—even in difficulties, even through family tensions, even through his painful illness and death. He knew that death wasn't the final word, and he endured his sufferings with a joy that surpassed all earthly troubles, a joy that was rooted in the Resurrection of Christ. He had encountered the transcendent love of God; in light of this gift, all the trials of this world seemed as nothing. He could laugh and be joyful no matter what problems he faced, accessing the deep well of God's grace and merciful love that he nurtured within his own heart.
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
—1 Corinthians 15:55
We need not fear death when we are redeemed by Christ. We need not worry about the minute details of our earthly lives when we know we are destined for something greater. When we look at our lives through the lens of Easter's promise, all our priorities will start to shift. We can let go of the things that tie us down to this world, to fear and worry, and cling to the hope that we, too, will rise.
Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.
—Pope St. John Paul II
Let us rise above our worries and complaints, above any passing discomfort or inconvenience. We have reason to be joyful! No matter what happens, our identity as Christians—as beloved sons and daughters of a God who died and rose again to save us, as pilgrims journeying through this world toward our heavenly home—surpasses all else.
Easter didn't end yesterday—it is still just beginning! Just as the Church celebrates twelve days of Christmas, not just one day, so also we celebrate eight days of Easter. Eight days of feasting and rejoicing, eight days of reflecting on the wonder of an empty tomb, eight days of celebration for Christ's victory over death. In Lent, we were called to quiet discipline and repentance; now, we are commanded to feast, to accept Christ's gift, to lift up our eyes and sing Alleluia. We were once unworthy, but we are made worthy by His Blood. Feast on His goodness and mercy; feast on the gifts He has given you; feast on His promise of new life. Happy second day of Easter!