What are celebrating today? I propose that the best response is “Jesus is risen” since it proclaims faith in the present tense. Notice that the historical setting could say “Jesus rose” in contrast to “He is risen.” The Easter experience is not merely remembering something which took place in the past but an expression of what is taking place right now. God transcends time, meaning all things take place in the eternal now for God. Right now, Jesus is giving His body and blood to us at the Last Supper. Right now, Jesus is dying for our sins upon the cross. Right now, He is rising to new life. The gift of this paschal mystery is presented for you now. Thus we can eternally say, “He is risen!”

To that assertion of what we are celebrating today an “alleluia” seems appropriate. Alleluia means literally “praiseYahweh.” In the Book of Psalms the canticles of praise would typically begin and end with an alleluia. Its presence poignantlyacclaims praise to God since to utter the name Yahweh was prohibited by the Hebrews. As a way to approach the name and praise it, the contraction of “Alle” solicits the unspoken name of God. So we participate in Our Lord’s Jewish roots as we offer this ancient prayer of laudation to God at Easter. Alleluia isattached joyfully to Easter prayers.

I wish you a joyful Easter and may that expression of joy be yours this Easter, for He is risen… alleluia!

-Fr. Thuerauf