Here it is: Easter 2012. Well, at least for some. And for the millions and millions of us celebrating Easter today (or soon) or Passover, the question is: What does it all mean?
Well, for many, it means indulging. Diving into that chocolate or some other decadent treat of which you have deprived yourself during the season of Lent. Or, attending a church service for the first time in, well, a while. Note: your place of worship is actually open for business every weekend. Just sayin'.
Some snap up the opportunity to jet off to a warm, sunny destination while the kids have a week's break from school.
For others, it's an excuse to buy a new dress, suit, or fabulous pair of pink peep-toed shoes.
Then again, some just dive headlong into the Peeps - or maybe a few of the 574 deviled eggs born of a recent coloring fest.
And, as I made myself loopy re-reading list upon list of menu items, paper products and dessert selections, I took a moment to ponder.
While the wedding soup simmered in a huge pot atop my stove, I thought deeply about the true meaning of the empty tomb.
Suddenly, I tossed all my worries about whether or not I'd made a big enough lasagna, scrubbed the floors sufficiently, or purchased just of the right mix of wines, sodas or cheese spreads right into the trash with the cracked egg shells.
Peace - it's what's for dinner. And breakfast and lunch, too.
Because regardless of how you choose to celebrate this Easter season, it really is all about that empty tomb.
Christ came to save us - from ourselves. And to teach us about the greatest love of all: that of God and our neighbors.
As I sat talking with my associate pastor and new friend Father Christopher Cicero (a Warren native, BTW), we discussed how even the smallest choices we make in our lives are an opportunity to do the right thing for ourselves and everyone around us.
I told him how sometimes I find myself uttering a statement out of frustration or irritation that I immediately regret.
He was so consoling and kind. "Patty, sometimes it's helpful to take a moment to consider whether what we're about to say is really important information to share. Will it help or hurt?"
He suggested giving a shout out to the Blessed Mother when in doubt - instead of just, you know, shouting.
Not a bad idea, Padre. You certainly are in the right job.
It made me think about a recent exchange I'd had with an acquaintance who heard me discussing Good Friday customs and cracked, "What are you, like, Catholic?"
Hmm. Help me hold my tongue, Mary, because my knee jerk was not necessarily a comment that would help.
And, in the spirit of the huge love we're all celebrating today (and hopefully daily), I'll respond this way instead: You bet your sweet bippy I'm Catholic.
That's why I want to wish you all a happy Easter and blessed Passover. Don't forget to pass the peace along with the mashed potatoes!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her peacefully at firstname.lastname@example.org.