After Jesus Christ's Resurrection from the dead and after his Ascension to heaven, early Christianity quickly began celebrating Sunday as the principal weekly feast "The Lord's Day" as he rose from death on a Sunday.
Most early Christians were first Jews and this weekly feast was easily drawn from the Jewish observance of the Sabbath (on Saturday). However, annual feasts would also develop in the church. While the Jewish people would celebrate Passover annually each spring, early Christians began celebrating at about the same time of the year the central events that were to change the world Christ's last days with his disciples the Last Supper, the death of our Lord and his Resurrection.
In a nutshell, what's Easter all about? I credit his eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, in his Easter message for a wonderful insight. Dolan says that Easter is all about "passing over." Just as winter is passing over to spring, just as our Jewish neighbors are celebrating their ancient feast of Passover, Jesus also passes over from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. And Jesus passes over from death to life, from the cross to Resurrection, from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.
Jesus invites us to pass over with him as well. In doing so he invites us to put to death lies, sin, selfishness, falsehood so that we can pass over to virtue, renewal, freedom, grace, mercy. This is often called conversion.
This feast is all about passing over from what brings death to what brings life. The power and direction of such a passing over comes to us only in the person of Christ who precedes us. Hence we each are to be drawn up into the mystery of Christ Jesus, who alone is the way, the truth and the life.
A blessed Easter to all!
Reflections, a mini-sermon written by Minot and area clergy, will appear each Saturday in The Minot Daily News. Clergy interested in writing a mini-sermon should contact Religion Editor Loretta Johnson at 857-1952 or Debbie Sandvold at 857-1950. The toll-free number is 1-800-735-3229.
The Rev. Chris Kadrmas is parochial vicar at St. Leo's Catholic Church in Minot.