“O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!” (from the Easter Proclamation chanted during the Easter Vigil Service)
The Easter Season is my favorite liturgical season, for many reasons. First of all, the biblical readings are taken from the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospels concentrate on the Lord’s apparitions after His Resurrection before He ascended to Heaven. Secondly, the readings referring to the Apostles encountering the Risen Lord at the Sea of Galilee remind us of the Lord’s omnipotent patience with us. In Mark 16:1-8, we read about the Resurrection of Jesus. Mary Magdalene and other women came to the tomb and encountered a young man sitting (Mark 16:5) inside the empty tomb. He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. …But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told'” (Mark 16: 6-7).
Jesus was to meet his disciples and Peter in Galilee. Why Galilee? It was in Galilee when they first encountered Jesus, it was in Galilee where Jesus called them and they left everything to follow Him. The disciples left Jesus during His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemani, and Peter denied Him. The beloved disciple, John, was the only one at the foot of the Cross. The disciples were now to “go to the place where they first met Him.” To remember how they first fell in love with Jesus, to remember they left everything for Him. In John’s Gospel, chapter 21 we read about the Resurrection appearance in Galilee. As the disciples are fishing, Jesus again calls out to them.
How amazing! Jesus gently reminds Peter and the disciples of their “first love”, their first encounter with Him, whom they learned to love.
Are there times we have lost “our first love” for Jesus? Have we allowed the fire within our souls to die simply because we have become too busy, or have denied Him, or have simply allowed daily routine to control us? If so – return to your Galilee! Remember when you encountered the mercy of Christ, or when you experienced His presence in your life for the first time! He is there! He remembers! He has gone ahead and waits for you again and again to embrace Him.
Jesus said from the cross: “I thirst.” (John 19:28). He continues to thirst for mankind to seek Him. Don’t let time get away from you and say – “Later…” or “Not now, I’m too busy with…” He never tires, we do! Encounter Him again and again. Let us remember the words that were chanted on Easter Vigil: “O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!”
The Easter liturgical season leads us for 50 days to the Feast of Pentecost, the birth of the Church.