Alleluia is a word we associate closely with the great feast of Easter. Literally meaning 'Praise the Lord' it resounds as a joyous victory cry on Easter Day. Having remembered the sombre prayerfulness of the Last Supper, the awful spectacle of Good Friday and the silence of the tomb on Holy Saturday, the Easter Alleluia bursts forth as a joyful 'yippee' on the lips of believers throughout the world.
This is our second Easter living with the pandemic and many are experiencing it as more difficult to endure the second time around. We have had many sacrifices imposed on us this past year, and we're not quite in Alleluia mode when it comes to Covid-19 and its relentless paralysing effect on our world. It seems that we will have to endure a while longer before we can return to any semblance of the normality we knew.
Easter Day is a day of triumph, the triumph of Jesus over the worst the world could throw at him - rejection, suffering and painful death. Such was the strength of his love for us that he was willing to endure it all, that we might be saved in him. For the disciples that first Holy Week was a painful experience; the one they loved and hoped in is shamefully dealt with in a cruel and unjust way, and they stand by powerless, probably feeling hopelessly inadequate, and seized by shame at their own cowardice in abandoning him. At the time when Jesus most needed them they ran away. They probably imagined that this was the end of their relationship with Jesus - all seemed to end in tears. They remembered the words of Jesus that urged them to wait in prayer, and in their fellowship with one another found support that sustained them in their sadness.
But everything was to be restored on Easter Day - the Risen Lord held no words of condemnation or rebuke for his disciples, rather a gentle 'Peace be with you'. Despite their shortcomings and inadequacies the Lord chooses them anew. The despair of Good Friday was banished forever. Easter filled them, as it fills us, with hope. Even when things look dark and bleak and the future uncertain, the reality of our Risen Lord shines a light that dispels all darkness. Whatever life throws at us we have reason to rejoice - the gates of heaven have been opened that we may enter! So please pardon my Alleluia!
We wish all the Christian people of Lucan every joy and blessing of this Easter Season. May the Risen Lord watch over, bless and protect each one of us, and may we grow daily in our love of him.
St. Mary's Lucan