This year we will be able to have Easter, unlike last year. This is reason enough to rejoice. We have been set free at least somewhat. Like Jesus the resurrection celebrates the new life we are experiencing after a very long difficult year.
The Church sets aside 40 days for us called Lent in which we are called to pray, service and self-sacrifice. After forty days of penance, prayer and fasting, the Church gives us the Easter season which is 50 days to rejoice and celebrate the new holy way of life that we have received through our Lenten practices.
Liturgically, the “eight days”, Octave, begin at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday and continue until the Sunday after Easter. Each day is another Easter, to rejoice in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
St. Augustine refers to the Octave of Easter as “day of mercy and pardon,” calling the Sunday of the Paschal Octave “the summary of the days of mercy.” After his resurrection, Jesus took great care to show his apostles the wounds of his passion, especially the wound in his heart, the source from which mercy flows.
Since 2000, the Church has designated the final day of the Octave, the Second Sunday of Easter, as Divine Mercy Sunday to celebrate the mercy Jesus offers to us.
So for the next 50 days, let us rejoice and be glad. Let us share the joy of the Resurrection with all those whom we encounter. Let us be extra joyful because of this we can celebrate Easter.