In my 65th springtime and Lent, I am hard pressed to recall a single Good Friday that was not overcast or an Easter Sunday that was not sunny. Now, I’m sure it would not take much research into what the weather was on those days from the spring of 1955 until the present to prove me wrong.
In my defense, I was not quite 7 months old on Easter, April 10, 1955, so my memory of that holiday might be a tad hazy. There were also at least one or two Easters when we had a late-season snow. It’s just that I don’t remember Easters as anything but sunny.
It’s a similar memory situation when it comes to my parents. Dad died on a Sunday, Sept. 29, 1996, as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, and Mother on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, from brain cancer. The sun was shining on both those days, but in my mind, they were as overcast as I was downcast. However, my mind’s eye seems to recall the days were a bit brighter on which my parents were buried.
There is a reason for this that is much brighter and more hopeful than my unreliable memory. That point was made in the Mass of Christian Burial celebrated for mother and dad. That was when family and friends heard, “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven” (Roman Missal, Preface I for the Dead).
Of course, the reason for this belief is the bright joy and hope of Easter, which were preceded by the gray grief of Good Friday. “In Him (Christ) the hope of the blessed resurrection has dawned, that those saddened by the certainty of dying might be consoled by the promise of immortality to come” (Roman Missal).
By giving His life for us, Jesus Christ gave us a chance at life eternal with Him. The shadow of death was overwhelmed by the brightness of the Son.
The sun rises with the Risen Son.