Awe: The Gift of Easter

By Br. Michael Perras, ofm

Awe is described as a feeling of reverence and respect mixed with wonder. Does this not describe the Resurrection with the encounter of the empty tomb, meeting the Risen Lord and being sent on mission to tell the Good News? Awe fills us at many moments of our life. It need not be fleeting rather it can be a constant gift which reminds us we are people of Resurrection each day.

                Being able to appreciate springtime sunrises often fills me with awe. Seeing a crocus spring up after the winter does as well. So does hearing my name called in a distinctive way. Creation and relationships have ways of gently calling us to be filled with awe. Do we allow ourselves to be touched by awe? Have we moved into “survival mode” or a dull routine where the celebration of Easter has become just another Sunday in the calendar year? This Easter Day is the launching of the 50-day season, an invitation to let awe be a gift to move past survival and routine. It may begin with something as simple as our name being called or in the way we call another’s name.

        We hear our name called thousands of times over our lifetime, when we hear it for the first time in a new way we are filled with awe. The first time I heard my name combined with Uncle or with Friar made me pay attention and take note. I was filled with awe. When Jesus called Mary Magdalene on Easter morn, she heard her name in new way and in hearing it she was awe-filled but also called and sent. She was by name sent as the Apostle to the apostles to announce to them, “Christ is Risen… I have seen him!” We too are called and sent, not only in this Easter Season but all the days of our life. How does our daily living reflect the Resurrection? How do we call others by their name? Do we leave them feeling regret or awe?

Catholic journalist Philip Kosloski reflecting on the life of St. Francis of Assisi said, “A life lived authentically rooted in the Gospel has more power than any king or earthly ruler and will endure for all eternity.” This is at the core of our Easter awe and living. It is at the core of our name being called by the Risen Christ. This is not just for St. Francis and the countless saints we honor, it is for us, today, here, and now in 2024. We, the saints of today, the People of the Resurrection for our time and space are called and sent. May our lives be a witness of the gospel and lead others to know awe truly is a gift still accessible to us even today. We do this when we embrace how reverence, respect and wonder aren’t obscure gifts rather they are daily gifts because of the Resurrection of Jesus. We are claimed in baptism, we are called to live the gospel authentically (which means always learning and growing from it) for we are witnesses of the Resurrection. Let us be willing to be filled with awe and then fill our part of the world with awe, it will make a difference just like the Resurrection does each day.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Easter Blessings!

Photo Credits: Dominik Scythe and Ashlee Marie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *