Happy Easter!

When our country celebrates Independence Day and the Jews their Passover, both celebrate freedom gained at the cost of blood and tears. But what a difference between the two celebrations! Where ours is mainly a civic affair with cookouts and picnics, the Jews have kept God in the picture clearly. As Jewish tradition has it: "From generation to generation everyone must consider himself as having personally gone out of Egypt. Therefore we must thank him (God) and praise him who led our fathers out of slavery to freedom" (Mishna, 10,5)

The early Church, emerging from Judaism, continued to celebrate the Jewish Passover, but with a new content. The Passover lamb offered to God in thanksgiving became "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." "Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed. Let us celebrate!" (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). And the freedom gained in blood and tears is our redemption gained by the Lord's sufferings and consummated by his Resurrection. Easter is the highlight of all Christian celebrations. With Pentecost as its completion it lasts fifty days. "Let us celebrate the feast not with the old yeast, that of corruption and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:8)

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