Easter Capture-the-Flag

The witness of an Easter celebration that “announces and shows the beauty of His friendship in our lives”.

For over 10 years we have been gathering in a park around Indianapolis to celebrate Easter with all the friends, old and new, that do not have a local family to go to. Some of our kids who were toddlers at the beginning are now highschoolers. Other families with babies and younger children have joined over the years. When we arrived this year, the picnic tables already had colorful tablecloths and flowers on them. The dear friend who organized the whole meal thanked me for having sent the message “Easter picnic anyone?” a few weeks back, while she and other friends actually did all the real work to make it possible.

After a beautiful meal, we watched our oldest kids spontaneously prepare the Easter egg hunt, then join an impromptu capture-the-flag game where the teams’ age range was 3 to 17. The enthusiasm and competition were palpable. On the sidelines some parents were commenting how rare it is to see kids that know how to play a game outside the organized sports rituals. Later, I was surprised to see our teenagers engaged in a sword fight with a little friend and calling him by name, while I did not think that in their full teenager attitude they would even have paid attention to the younger kids present.

I was 15 when I met Communion and Liberation and as a parent I often wonder whether or not our kids will experience Easter, the tangible presence of the friendship of Christ, the way I did growing up. What can we do? I question why things don’t seem to stick, what will allow our kids to live the Friendship that captured me in such a seemingly different world.

This Easter, however, it was evident to me that he gave us a People – friends that care to set up a table with flowers for Easter, that can show the beauty of a game, play the guitar, that will take time to joke with the teenagers, calling them by name, the same way I was moved to see the teenagers calling by name the new little ones.

We, including our kids, belong to the “rest of Israel” as Fr. Giussani said. A bunch of oversized families that span a couple decades, that may struggle with the attempts to have a formal proposal for our youth, but have not tired to drive across the Midwest for a picnic to announce and show them the beauty of His Friendship in our lives.

Simona, Cincinnati, OH