From Scott P. Richert,
Your Guide to Catholicism. The Greatest Christian Feast:
Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar. On this Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For Catholics, Easter Sunday comes at the end of 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving known as Lent. Through spiritual struggle and self-denial, we have prepared ourselves to die spiritually with Christ on Good Friday, the day of his Crucifixion, so that we can rise again with him in new life on Easter.
The Fulfillment of Our Faith:
Easter is a day of celebration because it represents the fulfillment of our faith as Christians. St. Paul wrote that, unless Christ rose from the dead, our faith is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:17). Through his death, Christ saved mankind from bondage to sin, and he destroyed the hold that death has on all of us; but it is his resurrection that gives us the promise of new life, both in this world and the next.
The Coming of the Kingdom:
That new life began on Easter Sunday. In the Our Father, we pray that “Thy Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven.” And Christ told his disciples that some of them would not die until they saw the Kingdom of God “coming in power” (Mark 9:1). The early Christian Fathers saw Easter as the fulfillment of that promise. With the resurrection of Christ, God’s Kingdom is established on earth, in the form of the Church. [more]