BEHIND THE MUSIC WITH GREG&LIZZY
“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and “Alleluia” is our song.” – Pope St. John Paul II
As we approach the fourth week of the Easter season, I’ve recognized something in myself and something in the Church community around me: it’s hard to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ for fifty days. In fact, it may be harder to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ than it is to remember His Passion and Death during the forty days of Lent. But why would this be the case for us? After all, we are “the Easter people” as Pope St. John Paul II reminds us, echoing the words of St. Augustine of Hippo.
Seeking and Saving is a song that Lizzy and I wrote out of this heart for celebration, and this exploration of why it’s sometimes a challenge for us to enter into it. We recognized in ourselves this kind of somberness in our own prayer, and we felt like the Holy Spirit was inviting us to pray with joy and to pray with celebration. Christ proclaims His mission in the Gospel when He says, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). That’s you and me, and in His Resurrection this mission is accomplished…that’s something worth celebrating! This song is intended to be a refreshment of that Easter joy, hope, and celebration at a point in the season when it’s hard to sustain it.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that make it difficult to sustain our celebration of the Resurrection and some simple ways we can remember from day-to-day that “’Alleluia’ is our song.’” It seems to me that during Lent we work hard to follow through with prayer and fasting commitments we’ve made, adhering to structures we’ve put in place for ourselves and to those prescribed by the Church. Sometimes we get to Easter Sunday and suddenly all the commitments of prayer and all the structures of fasting are gone, and we are seemingly released from our obligations. There is little or nothing to hold us accountable in our prayerful celebration, yet this is indeed what the Church asks of us during Easter! It is our Christian duty to celebrate, to live into and live out of the joy and the hope of Jesus’ victory over death.
I want to invite you to consider making some daily commitment to celebrate the Resurrection. In a way similar to what you probably did during Lent, put in place some small structure to help you live this joy to the fullest. If you gave up chocolate for Lent, eat an extra piece every day, and, when you do, sing “Alleliua” and let it be a reminder of the sweetness of the hope of the Resurrection! If you were doing a daily examination of conscience during Lent, keep doing it and add sixty seconds of praise to the end of it allowing yourself to be overcome by the joy of our salvation in Christ’ rising! You get the idea: let’s allow the penitence and the remembrance of Christ’ Passion and Death to draw us beyond the tomb and even more deeply into the glory of His Resurrection. Let’s watch for the darkness to be overcome by the light, let’s pray for peace, hope and joy that surpasses our understanding and destroys our despair. Let’s celebrate, because Love is stronger than death!
Written by: Greg Boudreaux of Greg&Lizzy.