Take Easter beyond egg hunts and into everyday life

| April 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

On Easter afternoon, after stuffing ourselves with ham, fruit and Nutella-filled croissants, we ambled to my aunt and uncle’s yard for the egg hunt.

Admittedly, it was really my son’s hunt. He is the older of the two children that were at our gathering, and, with the other being 6 months old, the only one who can walk, squat and pick up an egg. The rest of us “helped” (me by eying the Cadbury Creme Eggs that were scattered in the grass among the plastic ones).

It was charming and quick, since the cold wind was whipping over Wright County. We went back inside, napped, chatted over coffee and mini cheesecakes, and left for St. Paul late in the afternoon.

As we drove, I felt a deep sense of gratitude that our celebration had begun early that morning, not by tearing through a brimming Easter basket, but with Mass at
St. Francis Xavier in Buffalo.

It was the pinnacle of a Triduum made difficult by my 18-month-old. My husband and I spent Holy Thursday taking turns walking with him in our parish’s narthex, and on Good Friday I held him as he slept, unable to kneel or stand with the rest of the congregation.

Granted, these were not great sacrifices to make, but on Easter Sunday, I was grateful for the extra set of arms that could hold him, and his pleasure at being with Bumpa and Nana, his names for my parents.

These are the same parents that hauled my siblings and me each year to all the Triduum liturgies. My husband’s parents did the same for him.

I’m sure it wasn’t easy. I’m sure my parents were just as tired and had just as many excuses to cancel; Holy Thursday and Good Friday are not, after all, holy days of obligation. But our parents taught us they mattered. They succeeded in handing their faith down to us, which is the monumental task we now face with our son: To make Easter matter, more so for the Alleluia than the Cadbury eggs.

They taught us to see our lives in the context of Easter, not just add Easter to the context of our lives.

I think the trappings and traditions of Easter help us weave this narrative, but ultimately it’s not the hot cross buns or tutorials on “eggs as signs of new life” that will give our son the eyes to see. It’s how we demonstrate placing our own lives in the narrative of salvation history, especially in times of tragedy, hardship and loss.

We’re not good at this. We are trying to get better. Our tests have been small, and we frequently fail.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story describing how people who put “a good spin” on their life’s stories — even after something bad happens — have better mental health than those who don’t. Viewing our lives through the lens of the mystery of salvation must likewise be good for our souls, for it points them to the one for whom they were made.

As we shape our family’s narrative as Christians, we persevere and are inspired by other parents who are doing the same.

As with the egg hunt, our role is not subtle. We must take an active part in helping our son discern what to take and what to leave by directing him to the good, the true and the beautiful.

For now, it’s shiny foiled chocolate, but soon it will be loyal friendships, love of others, and a life lived for God.

And we, as parents, still need encouragement from others — “Hey, look right here!” — as we attempt to center our lives on the little Easter that is every Sunday, all year long.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Editorials