Our Easter season is 50 days long. No need to put all the plastic eggs and bunny decorations away in a hurry. On a spiritual level, this is our period to extend our rejoicing, to bask with gratitude in the light of our Risen Lord.
We have probably said The Lord’s Prayer thousands of times, but I think we can pray it with a few different meditations during this time of the church year.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
We have a Father who, while being fair and just, loves us very much. Sometimes, I think, he seems a big distance away—up there in heaven—but he is not far away at all. Heaven is where he is, and he is everywhere, all of the time. We can never honor and praise enough his name and who he is, but it is our challenge and privilege to try. If we God-watch, we can appreciate just how much he fathers each one of us every day. He expects us to behave like brothers and sisters in his family and share the love we know. We spring into loving action as we blend into springtime!
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
We are expected to cooperate. I have never lived in a kingdom per se, but I know that my Father is King of heaven and earth, and I am glad that he is in charge! A King who would send his Son to suffer and die for us is a very generous king! A King who would raise his obedient Son from death—to defeat death—is a very loving king! Jesus followed God’s will and so we need to strive to submit to God’s will because he loves us, his children.
Give us this day our daily bread…
God knows what we really need. We might have just feasted with our families and friends on Easter Sunday. We might have donated to food pantries to aid in making others’ Easter more comfortable. God is in all of that good stuff! Daily bread is far more than just food.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Here we have some what I would call “give and take.” We ask the Father to be forgiving while we are forgiving of others. God is the best example of a forgiver. We have to follow that example. These 50 days of Easter could include prayers for our enemies, little acts of repentance on our part, and efforts to encourage others to “cut each other a break” when they test each other’s patience. As we age and as life progresses, “trespasses” and “trespassers” change. God, our Father, already knows all that. He gives us Jesus and the Holy Spirit to fortify and inspire us. We need to use our time wisely, in humility.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.
We are all tested by temptations, but our Father gives us the strength to resist them when we ask him. We should not blame spring fever or pandemic confinement for our weaknesses. God is King of deliverance. He gave us Jesus! And we still have the Risen Lord in a special, tangible way in the Eucharist to give us what is necessary to overcome evil.
Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer. We should not rush through it but savor every word. The Easter season is about joy, new life, and alleluias! Thank you, Father!
Photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Upsplash
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.