All of us want to have a place where we feel like we are at home. We all want to have a place where we know we are loved and where we know that we belong. While on earth, we hope to have a place like that. But, even the best of homes will not last forever. Easter reminds us of our true home. Easter offers us the promise of our true home in heaven, which Christ made possible through His resurrection.
In the Church, we are blessed to have 50 days in the Easter season. All of the historical and theological background aside, having a season dedicated to a particular event that lasts for 50 days tells us that it is pretty important. But why is Easter so important, and why is it important to keep celebrating it for 50 days? Easter is important because it celebrates the historical event that made it possible for us to be able to go to our eternal home. Prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, this was not possible. Heaven was closed off to us. The debt resulting from the sin of Adam and Eve was so much that only God could repay it and make it possible for us to have eternal life in heaven. With Jesus’ resurrection, that eternal life became possible. We could go home.
This reality helps us to know that there is a purpose to our life. Everything that we say and do should indicate that we want to go to this eternal home. When we begin to speak and to act as if our goal is this eternal home, our earthly home begins to mirror that eternal home. When we speak and act as if we want to go to heaven, we begin to act Christ-like. We desire to know more about God through prayer and study; we desire to grow in union with Him through His gift of the sacraments; we strive to imitate Christ’s example of charity through living a moral life. When we do these things, we spread God’s kingdom on earth. We are transformed and become more like Christ. We transform the world, and it starts to imitate heaven.
This eternal life with God in heaven is a great gift from God. It is a gift God wants all of us to experience. Until that time, we wait in eager expectation until God tells us, “Welcome home.”
Father Peter Kieffer, Associate Pastor of St. Matthew Parish and Holy Name Parish,
Wausau, Chaplain at Newman Middle School.