Easter is the height of the Catholic liturgical calendar, and it is an opportunity to reflect on the Resurrection of Jesus.
What can we learn from the saints who witnessed the risen Christ?
St Mary Magdalene
Mary continued to seek Jesus even after his death on the cross. When she realised he was missing from the tomb, she wept and felt an aching emptiness from his absence. Her strong faith and love for Jesus meant that she would also be the first one to see the risen Christ.
We can imitate Mary Magdalene’s faith in how we live our lives each day. When we make the effort to seek God in everything we do, especially in the unexpected obstacles, annoyances, and inconveniences, we can discover his loving providence in those events too.
Peter was known as a fickle follower of Jesus. During the Last Supper, Peter assured Jesus that he loved Him and would stay by his side no matter what. Jesus foresaw that Peter would deny him just hours later. When he struggled to carry the cross, the Apostle looked at Jesus from a distance, while Mother Mary and a few others courageously accompanied him closely even though it was hard.
Despite Peter’s imperfections, especially his cowardice, he was always willing to change his ways, repent and ask God for mercy. In the end, Jesus made Peter the first pope of the Catholic Church. At times, we can see a bit of our selfishness and slackness in Peter but if we don’t get discouraged and simply come back to God, he can make a saint out of us.
Paul, a former persecutor of Christians, encountered Christ after his Resurrection and underwent a massive conversion to the Catholic faith. This encounter on the road to Damascus is important because it proves that Jesus’ Resurrection was not an event made up by his followers.
We can learn from St Paul’s virtues based off his inspiring conversion. He was humble because he was willing to change his mind and strong prejudices against Christians. When he made the decision to follow Christ, he made the commitment to be a Christian until the end of his life, even though he experienced his own persecutions.
We can all relate to one of these saints in one way or another. We can all learn from their virtues so that we can increase our faith and love for Christ this Easter.