Did you hear God cancelled spring up here? Winter doesn’t want to end–honestly, it feels more like January the 83rd than early April. We’ve had four snowy nor-easters in four weeks, days and days of cold rain and a lingering grey malaise even the groundhog didn’t forecast. The daffodils that should have bloomed in March are just now starting to show their colors. And as we enter this Easter season, I feel like my Easter joy is a month behind, too.
This past Friday morning, as I went to make breakfast, I started to pull the bacon out of the fridge, then stopped and put it back. Not because I’m trying to continue my Lenten discipline of abstaining from meat on Fridays, but because I literally forgot that Lent was over. Even though we had a great Easter Sunday here—the young’n was home and we had grandma and the bride-to-be join us for Mass and lunch—I am not fully feeling the Easter.
Maybe it’s the grey skies, but right now it feels easier to stay in contemplative mode, penitently looking inward, than to look outward with joy. Like the apostles in the Upper Room, I’m stuck inside, cold, and feeling a little detached from the joy of the Resurrection. And the heavy clouds outside have me weighed down, making it a challenge to embrace the lightness and freedom that Easter brings.
But because, unlike the disciples in those first days, we know the truth of the Resurrection, we are called to be Easter people, to live the joy year round. I think many of us sometimes fail to embrace that joy and stay stuck in a type of Lent, feeling unworthy or angry or just weighed down by the struggles in our lives. But we know that Christ won, that Christ is transcendent. The cross transformed suffering and pain, and the Resurrection promises the joy of eternal life. Unlike the disciples who didn’t recognize Jesus among them, we know he is with us and we need to see Him in the everyday, giving him our struggles and rejoicing in our blessings. And if I don’t do that, I’m as guilty of losing the true meaning of Easter as those whose only concession to the day is a ham and some chocolate eggs.
The sun is supposed to come out tomorrow and it might even hit 70 degrees this week. That should make nature burst wide open and bring on our long-awaited spring. It will certainly life my heart and my mood. But as I try to be an Easter person, I need to remember that even in the midst of life’s snowstorms and rains, the promise of the sun—and the Son—is always there.