Happy Easter Monday! I hope you had a wonderful Lenten season and Easter break.My last article on Bellanaija is here.
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For Christians, Easter is one of the most important celebrations in the church. This is because we are reminded of how we became saved by the Grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The 40 day period preceding this event is a time to reflect on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ and to become closer to him. Many Christians especially Catholics try to fast or at least abstain from certain things; one of the key messages is to give up something loved to share in the suffering as well as to do good unto others. This year Easter came quite early, in March, because many times in the past, it fell in April. I know it has fallen on my birthday before, in 2011. Anyway, I just thought to share a reflection of my Easter season:
For me, Lent this year was one of the most serious one for me. I tried new prayers, new habits, tried to give up old habits that were not the best (including coffee, lol). In retrospect, I do not remember attending any stations of the cross this year L…I’m sure they had some at my church but maybe I was busy working. However, I felt really grown this season, both physically and spiritually by His grace. Physically, I felt more mature because I did not try to sit down during the long ‘Passion of Christ’ reading read on Palm Sunday and on Good Friday! Usually, halfway, I would sit or kneel or squat or keep flipping through the pages…..because that reading is very long, from the trial of Jesus to his death and burial. But this year, I was calm and I even enjoyed the reading.
Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday was an interesting day as the washing of feet of his disciples emulated by the priest is always humbling. I believe that the message here is that for you to be a leader or master, you must learn to serve. I have been blessed to have my feet washed previous a couple of years ago and this year, the priest said that we should learn to was the feet of our partners, family, loved ones and even enemies!
Good Friday service was another good one for me. It was as sullen as usual, without the sign of the cross or sign of peace. The veneration of the cross always reminds me of the crucifixion of Jesus. If you’re a germaphobic like one of my siblings, you will find it hard to kiss or even touch the cross. I remember my mum had to send my brother one year to go back to kiss the cross as he had just gone to the front and turned around without doing anything, hee hee. During the reading, I was reminded of and medidated on the last words of Jesus on the cross:
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:34…this was when the soldier and some others were mocking Him on the cross.
"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:43…He said this to this thief who believed that asked to be remembered in His paradise.
"Jesus said to his mother: "Woman, this is your son." Then he said to the disciple: "This is your mother." John 19:26-27… This was when He handed his mother to John for care.
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34…I can’t even begin to imagine the pain He must have felt.
"I thirst." Gospel of John 19:28…this was to fulfil the scripture of giving Him wine to drink.
"It is finished.” Gospel of John 19:29-30…I believe his work on earth as a being was finished.
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Gospel of Luke 23:46…unto God, we should commit all things.
After the service, everyone was asked to leave the church quietly as usual and Saturday was a quiet day.
Easter Sunday came yesterday and once again, we could sing Alleluia and dance and make the sign and kiss of peace. I always love Easter Sunday as I fell liberated after all the quiet lent season. The mass was beautiful with singing and to add to it, I ate jellof rice yesterday (although it was Ghanaian jellof..ha ha!)
So this is a summary of my celebration. In as much as the Lent season is over, I hope that we continue with whatever good work that we started and stick to better behaviours. I wish you a continuous wonderful Easter celebration and a blessed April.
PS: Does anyone know the origin of Easter bunnies and eggs and most importantly, what rabbits have to do with eggs?? I’m just curious. Please share if you do, thanks.