Eastertide’s Joy and Rest Each Sunday

With seven grown children who have graduated from homeschool, I can honestly say that the lessons in religion, the lived experience, and all the discussions about their faith come back to them when they are grown. It is truly awesome to have them help us to understand spiritual things now. I had one of those wonderful, spiritual conversations with my second son, Jarred, and came to understand a profound truth about the season of Lent and Easter and how this is lived out through the liturgical year. He said simply, “Mom, the passion of Jesus strengthens our faith while the resurrection increases our hope!” I had never thought about it quite like this before, so his words inspired much reflection.

I had previously reflected on how the resurrection had to happen or our redemption would not have been complete. I knew that the resurrection (God’s rising from the dead in His own power) was His greatest miracle. This new revelation gave me pause to think even more deeply about this mystery. In the movie Pope John Paul II (Ignatius Press), the bishop he succeeds tells Karol’s class of seminarians, “This is the highest form of resistance: to give hope to those who have none.” He was speaking specifically of resistance to the evils of Nazism, socialism, and communism and the fear that they engender. The Holy Spirit helped me to see that no matter what evil surrounds us, hope is critical to surviving it and continuing on in faith.

When Jarred said these words, I understood that it is not enough to embrace and contemplate Jesus’ passion; we must also embrace and contemplate His resurrection. The two go together in His act of redemption and should go together in our own lives.

Easter is the most fabulous feast in the liturgical year, and every Sunday is supposed to be like Easter. We can contemplate Easter as the culmination of the redemptive work of Jesus. Then we can embrace the fact that each Sunday is designed to remind, refresh, and invigorate our faith and hope in Him, in His Church, and in our own resurrection from the dead. God has given us every Sunday to rest in his peace and contemplate His resurrection and the resurrection of our bodies at the end of time. He is so good! We have six days of hard work and one wonderful day of rest.

Imagine if we take what we’ve learned at the end of this Lenten season and go into Eastertide truly celebrating all the way to Pentecost. Savor the full Easter season and continue to fully live this liturgical season. But don’t stop there. Make every Sunday a mini-Easter, a true day of rejoicing, rest and peace within ourselves, our marriages, and our families. Experience true peace and freedom that only He can give.

As I reflect over my life, I can tell you with all sincerity, that since I truly kept the Sabbath (now Sunday for Christians) our family life totally changed. In striving to bring the joy and rest of Easter into each Sunday, my family has been transformed. We do not shop or work on Sundays. We worship, have family time, and rest. My children frequently said, “Mom, I love Sunday!” I have also heard, “I can’t wait until Sunday – no more work.” It feels like a holiday. Sunday is now a holy day for all of us. The pressures of the week and the housework are all set aside for a day of rejuvenation and re-creation.

God is God of the heavens and in our home, and on Sunday as on Easter, we truly savor it, me most of all. For my tired, weary body, Sunday is rejuvenation. For my tired, weary mind, Sunday is freedom from academics. I have gone so far now as to try to plan ahead for Sunday meals, so I even have minimal cooking (thus minimal dishes). If this is not possible, at least I know all I have to do is the meals and clean up. No laundry, no floors, nothing else. Just rest!

God has outdone himself in rewarding me for keeping Sunday holy. The more I make Sunday into a special continuation of the Easter celebration, the more joy and happiness I bring into the week which follows. All parents need a time of rest and recuperation. All of us need to have time to walk and talk, to have fun, festivity, and games. Sunday is God’s time, God’s rest, and He wants to share it with us. All we have to do is say yes, then really begin to live it.

I invite you to truly celebrate all of Eastertide and to determine within yourself that this time will continue in a way through all the Sundays of your life. Just refuse to do work on Sunday unless it is absolutely necessary, and then plan on how it won’t be necessary the next Sunday!  Then you will look forward to Sunday as your time of rest. With no extra work on your part, your children will see Sunday as a special day.

By honoring God’s day, you bring joy to your family. You are simply imparting a new way of thinking, a new way of resting. You don’t have to do anything. By simply following His third commandment in a new way, you will be refreshed and strengthened to do the work required in the other six days. It took me a while to get my tired, weary mind around all of that, but it really has worked. It really has transformed my life and can do the same for yours.

Jarred didn’t realize how much I would ponder it when he made that wonderful statement. It was just a matter of fact to him but a revelation to me. If we are willing to sacrifice every day of our life for our family and participate in this way in the passion of Christ, God certainly wants us to have the fruits of joy, peace, and hope on the mini-Easters we celebrate each Sunday. Our Father loves us so much that He wants our minds and bodies to experience a little of the joy and rest that we will enjoy with him forever. All it takes is our desire. Let’s begin together.

Author: Belinda Mooney

Belinda Terro Mooney, author and Catholic Coach is mom to 7 grown children, whom she homeschooled for 28 years. A Secular Carmelite and Adjunct Professor of Human Services, she is the author of 5 published and 5 upcoming books. Belinda writes about the Saints, Catholic History, mental health, and wellness and addictions. She loves mentoring and coaching Catholic moms. Connect with her at: www.tlcwellnessinstitute.com https://instagram.com/belindaterromooney/ https://facebook.com/belindaterromooney/