The Resurrection at Work in Our Homes
One of the perks of belonging to a big family (Ever is one of 12) is huge, loud, chaotic family gatherings. But the recent Easter gathering we hosted at our home—featuring a stampede of 16 young cousins—gave us a needed reminder.
First, to back up…in the few days leading up to Easter, our kids did an admirable job of pitching in to get the house and yard ready. Did we…um…“raise our voices” to “motivate” our kids to work? Sure. But with their cousins on the way, they too felt the urgency.
After a joyful Easter morning Mass, the guests arrived in the afternoon for lunch. In nooks and crannies all around our home, cousins, aunts, and uncles relaxed, caught up on life, told stories, and ate a lot. The whole atmosphere was festive—with fresh flowers, delicious homemade food brought by all the families, a walk, games in the backyard, and time to reconnect. Fresh off our Lenten journeys, there was a newness in the air, a freshness, a renewed gratitude for the supreme gift of our Savior.
This little experience was a needed reminder of something big: pitching in as a family to work on our household is what allows our home—what we call our “Trinity House,” or domestic church—to reach its ultimate goal of sharing our taste of heaven with others. Put another way, it’s precisely the family roll-up-the-sleeves togetherness—that we experienced while cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, weeding, etc.—that is foundational for sharing the life and joy of our Resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ, with the world around us.
The empty tomb of Easter Sunday calls our families to share the stunning news—to “go in haste” to tell others. Translated into daily family life, we can “go in haste” by hosting and serving others, beginning with family, friends, and neighbors. But it’s hard to host or serve anyone if we haven’t done the advanced work together as a family.
Just a couple of weeks before Easter, our garden was a mess with old leaves and dead plants from last year. So, we “invited” all the kids to hit it hard with us for 45 minutes, using the timer to keep us honest. By the time the buzzer went off, the garden had a complete makeover. What would have taken one of us many hours, took the family less than an hour. And our garden was ready for planting, ready to brim with a new season of sharing.
But whether you hosted or not on Easter, you can probably look back on the 40 days of Lent as a time of purging—a liturgical season of spiritual house-cleaning, alongside the cleaning and decluttering that has been taking place in our physical homes, garages, and yards. Intensified prayer, fasting, and almsgiving were the three power tools we used for putting things right within the home of our hearts.
This parallel between our physical house and the spiritual house is striking. Setting things right is what allows us to share our homes, ourselves, and the good news of resurrection in Jesus Christ with others. Our Easter Sunday reminder comes down to a few points that we invite you to translate to your own day-to-day experience:
- The gift of Lent has brought us the joy of the empty tomb; our physical and spiritual homes have been “swept clean” to prepare for this day and season;
- The joy of the Resurrection, of life-giving transformation, ought to permeate our families in the day-to-day shared work that goes into having a well-ordered home;
- The joy that we share within our families is not intended to stop with one another, but is oriented towards hosting and serving others, which is a tangible way we can “go in haste.”
After our guests left that Easter Sunday evening, we could feel a new page-turning. Our kids had a fresh experience of preparing for guests and enjoying the chance to serve them. When our kids read the Scriptures, permeated with stories of meals and hospitality to those outside the nuclear family, they’ll see how it is relevant in their own lives.
The tomb is empty.
In the wake of our Lenten practices, let’s not fall back into our old habits. Instead, with the call to “go in haste” to serve others, let’s reengage with the daily stewardship of our homes with fresh zeal.