Bishop Richard J. Malone closed Holy Week with a Mass emphasizing the true meaning of Easter, echoing his recent newspaper column, on Sunday at St. Joseph Cathedral.
"A lot of folks today will enjoy Easter dinner, Chocolate bunnies, maybe some new clothes and a beautiful day," Bishop Malone said. "That's all wonderful, but how much thought will people give to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and for its radical meaning for our lives?"
See photos from the Easter Mass at the cathedral.
The bishop noted Easter joins other religious holidays like Christmas and Halloween as days that society celebrates with increasing secularism and commercialism.
"It's a concerning and curious thing to me that so many of our Christian feasts have been overlaid or co-opted by all sorts of customs, although nice, have little to do with those feasts."
Spiritual writer Adam Jones, who said Easter was increasingly about the coming of Spring, was quoted in Bishop Malone's homily. The bishop also referenced other commentators who wonder if society had lost the capacity for awe.
"If the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is not cause for wonder and amazement, then what is?" Bishop Malone said. "Remember in the early centuries of the Church, converts to the faith were so awestruck by the message of the resurrection, that they often risked their lives in choosing to be baptized as Christians. Some would just as soon let it be about spring flowers and Easter egg hunts, as fun as that all is, because we really don't want to deal with Easter as the world-shaping, life-changing event that it is. We're afraid to get too close to a divine surprise that totally turns things upside down, and calls us to radical change in how we see reality, how we live, and how we love."
The bishop's final quote came from Pope Francis, who in just over a year, has become an extremely popular pope around the world.
"Christ's resurrection is not an event of the past, it contains a vital power that has permeated the world. When all seems dead, signs of resurrection suddenly spring up. It is that irresistible force that, however dark things are, goodness always reemerges. Each day in our world, beauty is born anew."