Christ did not rise from the dead so we could gorge ourselves on marshmallow Peeps. Gorging is an act of singular enjoyment, and it only takes a moment to look around our world to see how disastrous it is when people just fill themselves with what they want… besides, it would be just gross if all we wanted was to be stuffed with marshmallow Peeps. The true measure of Easter joy is the degree to which the disciples of the Risen Lord indulge in the good of others. The celebration of Easter is ordered to communion, so much so that Easter works centrifugally through Christ’s disciples: we move the joy outwards.

Using Pope Francis’s beloved term, Easter is the season for “missionary disciples.” The heart of the mission is Christ, the source of the mission is his Resurrection, and the power of the mission is the Holy Spirit he imparts to us. With this mission, we, his disciples, bring him to others and work to unite all in him.

This is a special episode of Church Life Today. Only very rarely do I create an episode without a guest, but when I do it is usually to offer a special seasonal episode like this one where I try offer a series of reflections that, I hope, are of some interest or use to you in your prayer, in your life, for your imagination. So today I want to spend this time with you asking, How do we embrace and live out the mission of Easter? The short answer: By heeding the Gospel and then exercising our own “missionary creativity” to become the disciples Christ frees us to be. And what I want is to offer is some in exploring this more fully by talking about four ways to fulfill our Easter mission––one way from each of the four Gospels.