What just happened?
I must confess I am not the most traditional, practicing Roman Catholic these days; but with a little nudge from the culture, I do get myself to church on those sacred feasts that dot our calendar. Or, at the very least, I think about how so much has changed over the past fifty years. Yes, I do reminisce in that time span now.
But, Easter? There is a greater disconnect between that holy day and our secular, commercial-oriented culture than exists between any other and that same culture. Christmas has, in fact, been wholly taken over by commercialism; it is now Christmas as the secular feast that is celebrated at the winter solstice. Easter, on the other hand, does not even register a blip on the screen.
Part of this is due, of course, to the referents of the feasts themselves. Who could seriously refuse to celebrate a birthday? Even the birthday of someone who is worshiped as God's son, born of a virgin who remains a virgin as mother? Not I; I would never get between a mother and child.
But, again, Easter? The resurrection of a god who was crucified? Much easier to celebrate the feast looking for candy and eggs hidden by an Easter bunny, eat the traditional meal of the paschal pig, and then sit down to watch whatever phase March Madness seems to be in that year. No nudges whatsoever from the culture to point us in the right direction.
So here's my conclusion: Easter has to be much more central to what it means to be a Christian than any other feast/festival; for it has slipped of the secular/commercial calendar almost completely. We Christians are left completely to our own devices concerning this feast. There is no nudge from outside, pushing us to at least go to church this day.
It's a struggle.