An Easter People

Father Paul McDonnell isn’t the only priest, or the only person for that matter, to proclaim Christians are “An Easter People.” But he always comes to mind when I hear or even think of this description. And with Easter two days away I am thinking of it this morning.
It’s simple, actually. And complicated.
To be a Christian is to be united with Christ and therefore to share in his Resurrection followed by eternal life. This is the simple part.
The complicated part is being a Christian. Especially when that means accepting the challenge to “take up one’s cross.”
That’s another message that always causes me to think of Father Paul. There is no Easter, he continually says, without Good Friday. And we all know what this means. Life is not easy. It’s littered with obstacles, problems, disappointments, challenges.
And the Christian message, as hammered home by Father Paul, is to hoist every one of those crosses to our shoulders and carry them without complaint, knowing our reward will be worth it.
I’d prefer not too, I often have told Father Paul. Jokingly, of course. Well, sort of jokingly. And he’s always laughed, knowing I know this is not an option.
The road to Easter, he repeats, goes through Good Friday.
Okay, then, I accept this. But I don’t have to like it.
Carrying crosses, those that have come my way and those waiting in my future, is not fun.
But I cannot imagine how I’d do it if I were not privileged enough to be counted among these “Easter People.”
And for this I am eternally (no pun intended) grateful.

Ed Ackerman