He is Risen!

Easter Sunday is one of the most holy and special days of the year. For Christians, this is the day we get to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death. It is a day to recognize that our  Lord and Savior conquered sin and death, and opened the gates of heaven for eternity. How great it is to know that even though we are sinners, Christ sacrificed himself on the cross so that we could have the opportunity to share with Him in eternal life if we choose to follow Him.

Although Easter Sunday is such a special day, since I first started running I’ve ended up spending most of my Easter weekends on the road or recovering from a race. This year I was blessed to be able to relax and really focus my eyes on God through all of Holy Week.  Although I love to run, I’m kind of glad that this year I did not have to feel distracted from Easter while focusing on running. This year I was blessed with a visit from my family and a lovely Easter Sunday picnic. It was also a blessing to look back and say that our conversations this year were not focused on what kind of candy we got from the Easter Bunny, or how we felt at a race we had run, and instead we spent most of our time in great spiritual conversations, discussing things that “really matter” in live. As I look back at the past week, I realize that for me, this Holy Week I probably spent more time thinking about, reading about, talking about, or praying to God than I have any other year during this week.  Going to the stations of the cross, spending  time in God’s word, bible study, and going to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday mass made me only want to seek and know God more. In years past I had viewed all of these things as sort of “obligations,” and just the sort of thing everyone did because it was Easter. I have to say, after the journey I’ve been through in the past year or so, having really made a commitment to grow closer to God, I’ve noticed that I am no longer going to Mass Thursday, Friday and Sunday just because that is what you do in the Catholic Church, instead it is because this is something I want to do.
Today at Church, the sermon was all about how Jesus’ resurrection is not the end, but the beginning. It is the beginning of the idea that now we all have the opportunity to be resurrected from the dead and join our God for eternity in heaven. In years past, I’ve always looked at Easter as a very special day, the day that Jesus rose from the dead, but I never really thought this hard about how one day this will happen to all those who are true followers of Christ. When I think about everything Jesus had to go through just to fulfill God’s plan and save mankind, it makes me really think about my life. Although times may be tough and life may present many challenges, we have to remember that if we keep our lives focused on Jesus Christ then we have something greater in store than what we can know and see on this earth. It’s sometimes hard to think about the future, because the future is so uncertain. However, as was mentioned in todays sermon, we have to ask ourselves how will we approach tomorrow, and next week, or next month? Do we only think about how Jesus died and rose for us when it is Easter Sunday? Or during those most holy days and weeks of the year? Or do we really think about this concept every minute of every day. I mean, Jesus’ whole life and everything he did every minute was centered around one thing: fulfilling his plan of saving us. So why wouldn’t we focus every minute of our lives towards living for, worshiping, glorifying and yearning for Him?
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