Easter lasts 50 days! Here's how to keep the light of Easter burning in your family.
On Sunday, the whole Church proclaimed the joy of the Resurrection. Now is a good time to reflect on the importance of the Easter season with our children, because the Easter holiday isn’t just one day — it lasts 50 days, until Pentecost!
After the anticipation of Lent, Easter Sunday can seem like the final culmination — but then what? Does it mean that everything goes back to being the same as it was before Lent? We typically encourage children to make spiritual progress during Lent, and then … nothing more. It all comes to an end on Easter Sunday, as if the days after Easter were less important than the days before it. How can we help our children to not merely “return” to the days before Lent? Here we offer a little advice on keeping our children in the light of Easter duringthe entire 50 days of Easter time.
Let’s think about our Lenten resolutions, those we decided on as a family and the ones we did individually. Haltingly, with the help of Divine Mercy, we progressed in prayer, detachment, loving God and our brothers and sisters. So what can we do, exactly, to consolidate this progress so it doesn’t deflate like a soufflé taken out of the oven too early? We can encourage our children to think seriously about this, being very clear that Lent and Easter are distinct holy seasons. One example you can use: the part of Lent that often makes the biggest impact on children is giving something up … and what they love most about Easter is when they can have that pleasure again.
But we can help our children understand that Lent wasn’t just about giving things up and that their Lenten efforts can continue into Easter time by continuing to invite more of God into our life.
Put yourself in the Risen Lord’s hands
Easter time is an invitation to let go of our worries, our fears, our anguish, and our discouragement. We have nothing to fear, because Jesus has conquered evil and death. Believing in the Resurrection means rejecting all anxiety because we know that Jesus is the victor over everything that seeks to destroy us. Lent invites us to take shelter in the joy of God and Easter is the time to let ourselves be overcome with joy at what the Lord has done. Of course, Easter won’t magically solve all of our everyday difficulties, our economic problems, professional worries, academic failures, sickness and diseases … But what it will change, if we want it to, is our way of seeing and living these challenges and sufferings.
So let us help our families remember this season that Jesus has conquered evil, today and forever. God our Father is patient, He doesn’t pressure us to reach victory, it will come at the right moment. Taking part in the Resurrection, we refuse to obsess over our worries, we refuse to lament about death, to fester in disappointments or sadness. Let us help our children understand this and to put putting themselves into the hands of the Risen Jesus.
What is the Octave of Easter?