The one part of church that my toddlers have always enjoyed is the sound of bells ringing at the moment that the priest consecrates the host. If the kids were feeling bored or tired of sitting still, I could always whisper to them, right then, "Shh! Can you hear the bells ringing? Jesus is here in the bread!" And a few minutes later, "Shh! Did you hear the bells? Jesus is here in the wine!" Sometimes, the kids would respond with a wise, open-eyed nod or maybe a single word spoken sotto voce, "Jee-jus!"
On Easter, I get the same feeling of wonder that the kids get. Jesus is here! All through Lent, the Gloria is missing from Mass, and there is no Alleluia. On Good Friday, the empty tabernacle leaves me feeling bereft and achingly sad. So when we hear the Alleluia again on Easter, and the carillon bells on the organ ring all the way through the Gloria, I know that he is risen. He is risen indeed, Alleluia!
My kids never had trouble believing in Jesus' resurrection. They grew up with the notion of resurrection woven seamlessly into the cloth of their childhood. Death and resurrection, for them, were inseparable concepts. My eldest daughter, Lelia, was 3 years old when Pope John Paul II died in the Easter season of 2005. After the time of the conclave, I announced to her joyfully that we had a pope again. She cried when she found out that a new man would be sitting on the chair of Peter. "I thought he came back," she said, speaking of John Paul II, "I thought he came back like Jesus." How beautiful is the faith and the heart of a child!
"Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain." (1 Cor. 15:12-14)
May All of You Enjoy this Glorious Season of Our Lord's Resurrection!
Bells Photo Credit: $owmya via Compfight cc