Living our Faith in Easter Time | Lectio Divina Guide

50 Days from Easter to Pentecost

Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday – the greatest of all Vigils and all Sundays – are behind us. We are now in Easter Time, the most important of all liturgical times, when we celebrate the Lord's resurrection from the dead, culminating in his Ascension to the Father and sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church.

There are 50 days of Easter, from the first Sunday to Pentecost. The Sundays of this time of year are considered to be Sundays of Easter and are called, after Easter Sunday itself, the Second – which concludes the octave or eight days of Easter – and the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Sundays of Easter. This sacred period of 50 days concludes with Pentecost Sunday. On the fortieth day after Easter, the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated, except where, not being observed as a Holy Day of Obligation, it has been assigned to the Seventh Sunday of Easter.

The weekdays from the Ascension up to and including the Saturday before Pentecost prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete. This is a good opportunity to set aside time to read the daily scriptures and reflect upon them. 

A Guide for Scriputure Reading, Reflection

The USCCB provides this downloadable Lectio Divina guide to aid in your prayerful reflection in this Easter Season. Lectio Divina is a form of meditation rooted in liturgical celebration that dates back to early monastic communities. It involves focused reading of Scripture (lectio), meditation on the Word of God (meditatio), contemplation of the Word and its meaning in one's life (contemplatio) and ends with prayer (oratio). These Lectio Divina resources are for the Sunday Gospels and the Ascension of the Lord.

About Easter Time

The word "Easter" comes from Old English, meaning simply the "East." The sun which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth and hope, is a symbol for the Christian of the rising Christ, who is the true Light of the world. The Paschal Candle is a central symbol of this divine light, which is Christ. It is kept near the ambo throughout Easter Time and is lit for all liturgical celebrations. Also during this Easter Time, instead of the customary Penitential Act, the blessing and sprinkling of water is done as a reminder of Baptism.

This Easter Time also is characterized, above all, by the joy of glorified life and the victory over death, expressed most fully in the faithful’s great resounding Alleluia! All faith flows from faith in the resurrection: "If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, is your faith." (1 Cor 15:14).

"What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind (of grain).

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one. So, too, it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living being," the last Adam a life-giving spirit.

But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one (1 Cor 15:36-37, 42-49).

This content was abstracted from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website

Tags: Easter Time, Easter Season, Approaching Pentecost

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