As I spent this week thinking about the Easter Season and what it means to me, I had many thoughts and feelings about this. This ‘religious season’ is a time to be off from work – a holiday. A time for pretty bonnets, dresses, Easter Egg hunts, happy playful children in the Easter parades, special foods, parties and celebrations. It is a remembrance of great suffering, loss and pain but with that and through that come great hope, renewal, rebirth through penance and the beauty in nature that we call Springtime.
How much of that beauty and renewal do we see and experience in our lives? I think again, about what this all means and a few things come to mind. How do we take this season and all its meaning and significance and internalize it so that our behavior and actions reflect the message. How do we live this experience, this season, this opportunity to be reborn every day as we feel and experience it now, during this season.
How do we do live a christ centered life in a practical and realistic way? Knowing the truth about our ransom for our lives, knowing the message and teachings and the daily challenges we face, how do we obey. How do we do that through our enlightenment, our knowledge, and our truths and make it a ritual, a natural consciousness of our daily conduct. I say this is the challenge for having a fulfilled life.
I am sure there are many teachings and lessons on this from our various beliefs, experiences and religious practices. How do we achieve a fulfilled and good life? I remember a lesson from Thicht Nhat Hanh in his book the Two Treasures it says: To live honestly, generous in giving, to offer support to relatives and friends, living a life of blameless conduct - this is the greatest happiness. I think this message is the universal truth for all peoples.
Christ gave everything for us, our ransom, even though we are undeserving and cannot pay for it. What I do know and what I am learning is that we must be grateful for everything. We must be our brothers’ keeper and we must give of ourselves to others so that they can see love and light. This is what the season means for us; we must be grateful and we must be caring. We are indebted and when we give and serve, we are rewarded with the greatness of a fulfilled life; the greatest happiness.
I am reminded here of one of my favorite hymn’s that is based on two scriptures, “We are one in the spirit”; with the refrain, “they will know we are Christians by our love.” The scripture says,” By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have loved one to another." John 13:35 KJV. The scripture also reminds us to give thanks in all things. 1 Thessalonians 5:18. There is also a favorite praise and worship song, Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart, I just love that song.
If we live in Gratitude for his goodness and mercy, we will find much happiness for living the beatitudes. Find the means and the way to stay renewed and happy throughout the year. The good book says in II Timothy 2:15, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Happy Easter and a year of gratitude, and happiness to all.