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Easter Sunday at Holy Family, Southampton

For forty days and nights we have journeyed through the desert of the Season of Lent. Tonight we have reached our Promised Land. In the splendour and joy of this holy night the Church is incapable of restraint any longer, crying out Alleluia over and over again as she rejoices in the salvation brought to us by Christ her Lord. We, the Christian faithful united to Christ through a covenant sealed in his Precious Blood, are filled with that joy as we rejoice with the saints of every age and generation that Christ has saved us from ourselves. In him death is put to death; sin is itself crucified; we are freed from the slavery of our former lives and given eternal life by Christ in the kingdom of his beloved Father.

Easter is where we are at home. We were not made for the desert of Lent, but for the land of milk and honey, the land of joy, and peace, and life, and love, that is heaven itself. We are not citizens of this world, but of the next. We are not subjects of any earthly power or principality, but of the city of the New Jerusalem which is even now made manifest in the life of the Church. This is our season; this is our time. With Christ as our head we, his members, are brought into the unrestrained joy of being at home with our Father and heavenly Mother, and with all our brothers and sisters in the company of the saints. Just as Lent marked for us the desolation of our being cast out from Eden’s garden, so Easter is our season of paradise restored. The rich fruits of the garden are given us once more, so that we might have life and have it in abundance.

Yet this Easter joy is not simply to be kept in our hearts as a secret treasure. It is to be shared with those we meet. Just as we avoid showing our fasting and abstinence in Lent, so in Easter we avoid hiding our joy. It is who we are; it is our very character and essence as the pilgrim people of God who have now reached their intended goal. Let our joy be made complete in our meetings with others. May the bright light of Christ’s resurrection set us aflame with love, and may others—seeing that joy within us—look up and see no longer us, but Jesus, and the life he offers them.