How long is Easter? Easter begins on Holy Saturday at sundown with the Easter Vigil, and continues through Easter Sunday. We can also talk about the octave of Easter (the eight days of Easter). Eight is a resurrection number, as there are seven days in the week and Jesus rises at the start of a new week, on “the eighth day.” But then there is the Easter season, which stretches from Easter all the way through until Pentecost. Fifty days! On top of all this, every single Sunday is an “eighth day,” where we celebrate Easter again! That’s why you can “cheat” on Sundays in lent, by the way! Even in Lent, we have a little piece of Easter. Easter is everywhere!

Luke has just five brief episodes that follow Jesus’ resurrection, but he describes them almost as though they all happen on the same day. Even the Ascension seems to happen on Easter, although he will later clarify in Acts that it took place forty days later. For believers, everything connects to Easter. The Nativity made it all possible, the death was necessary, but it is the resurrection that gives us hope for the future. If Christ has been raised, then we will as well.

There is a time and a place to mourn, to regret sins, to strive to do better. Yet most of the time, we too should be people of joy, ending as Luke’s gospel does “continually in the temple Praising God.”

Peace, Fr. Dan