Go and Announce the Good News

My son was so excited for Easter to come. As the weeks approached he counted down the days left until Lent would be over. With much enthusiasm, he kept telling us how he was going to stand on the front porch first thing early Easter morning and shout Alleluia for all to hear! His excitement became contagious and soon his younger siblings were joining in.

We have now entered the fifty glorious days of Easter. It is a season of rejoicing, praising God, and announcing the good news. The forty days of Lent have ended, a time that was set aside for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It was a time to prune our lives and turn our hearts back to the Lord. While our children may be mostly focused on the candy and jellybeans, we should make an effort not to live this Easter season passively. Similar to Lent, this should also be a season when our hearts are changed. One in which we are transformed by what we have seen, the Risen Lord!

I cannot help but think of the indescribable joy that filled those who were the first to encounter the Risen Lord. In the Gospels following Easter Sunday we hear of the experiences of Jesus’ followers when they realize that Jesus is truly alive. When Mary Magdalene recognizes Jesus when he speaks her name she goes and announces to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.” (Jn 20:18) After some of the disciples walked the road to Emmaus with Christ and recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread, they set out at once to announce to the others that, “The Lord has truly been raised.” (Lk 24:34)

We too have been witnesses. We have experienced the Resurrection. We have seen the Risen Lord. While it is easy to get stuck on Good Friday, the hope of Easter Sunday is visible in each of our lives and the lives of those whom we love. Whether we were waiting, looking into the tomb, or walking the road, Jesus has made himself known to each of us personally and filled us with his immeasurable love. He has redeemed us and to this, we can proclaim.

At the dismissal during Mass, the priest tells the congregation to, “Go forth the Mass is ended.” In Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic exhortation “Sacramentum Caritatis” he states that the dismissal words “express the missionary nature of the Church.” In order to highlight this even more so additional words were added to the Latin and English Missal, “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord” and “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” We are given the command and sent out as missionaries at the end of every Mass to evangelize.

Like those who were the first to witness the glory of the Resurrection may our hearts also be consumed by an overwhelming desire to speak of the Lord and to go and proclaim him to the world. To a world that is hurting and longing for Christ’s love, let us go and announce the good news. He is Risen, he has truly Risen! Alleluia!!

Cassie Everts serves as Contributing Writer at Relevant Radio. She is a wife, mother, author and speaker. She is the co-author of Nursery of Heaven and blogs at Everyday Ann. She holds degrees in Theology and Communication Arts from Franciscan University of Steubenville.