Sunday Mass: Easter and April Fools

March 29th
This year of 2018 has some remarkable coincidences when it comes to the dates of two religious and two secular observances.
If you remember, Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent, fell on February 14, Valentine's Day. That has not happened since 1945.
This coming Sunday, Easter Sunday, the first day of the season of Easter, falls on April 1, April Fools' Day. That has not occurred since 1956.
That means that people under the age of 73 have not experienced Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday falling in the very same year on dates with secular associations. Interestingly, the same thing will happen in 2029.
This year's coincidence of dates can help us better appreciate the day that started the observance of Lent and the day that begins the joy of the Easter Season.
On Ash Wednesday, we were marked with ashes as a sign that we would do our best to respond to the call of Lent to "Repent, and believe in the Gospel." Having the date fall on Valentine's Day served as a reminder that the ashes on our foreheads were also signs of God's love for us.
God calls us to repentance because God's heart embraces us sinners! God knows that if we turn from sin and allow him into our lives we will become those good and holy people that God wishes us to be.
On Easter Sunday, we celebrate the Lord's victory over evil, sin, darkness, and death. The Lord Jesus, crucified on Good Friday, walks out of the tomb on Easter Sunday.
The fact that Easter Sunday falls on April Fools' Day can give us further insight into what we profess to be the most important event in human history, namely, the Resurrection of Jesus.
The forces of darkness conspire to do their best to play an April Fools' Day hoax on us the whole year long. In fact, they have done that throughout human history. They tell us that our human lives have no meaning. We live but for a number of years and then we fall into nothingness.
The forces of darkness and death tell us to live only for the moment and only for ourselves. They tell us that God does not exist, and if God should be there, God does not care about us. Our lives are of no more significance than the flash of a lightning bug in the midst of a dark forest.
That is a misunderstanding of life - that is the hoax that is put forth by sin and by the forces of evil.
Easter Sunday proclaims the truth. The Gospel of Easter Sunday (John 20:1-9) proclaims that Jesus is risen. He is the proof that life continues, that those who do the Father's will are brought to new and endless life beyond the grave. Jesus is our Resurrection and our Life.
Easter Sunday, falling on the day it does, warns us not to be taken in by the hoax put forth by a godless world. Easter Sunday tells us not to be April fools!
© 2018 Rev. Thomas B. Iwanowski
Happy Easter!
May the Risen Lord bless you with his presence and peace.