Easter Is……

Fill in the blank please: “Easter for me is ____________”.

What is the first word, a set of words, a song, an image, even an emotion that comes to you? Sit with it and breathe, let it sink, and see how it deepens, expands, or …………

Here are some quotes on Easter I found on the internet:

“Easter was when Hope in person surprised the whole world by coming forward from the future into the present.” (N.T. Wright)

“If anyone or anything tries to curse or kill the Goodness at the Center of all things, it will just keep coming back to life. Forever Easter.” (David Housholder)

“It is the hour to rend thy chains, the blossom time of souls.” (Katharine Lee Bates)

“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.” (Basil Hume)

“Easter is always the answer to My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!” (Madeleine L’Engle)

“Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.” (Clarence W. Hall)

And this from Pope Benedict XVI: “….we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.”

Four several years since my son’s death in October, 2011, observance of Lent and Easter each year has represented significant turns not only in my grieving but also in my faith journey. I believe I now understand more deeply that our salvation is with the God incarnate in the real-ness of our lives, that salvation is gradually becoming who we are—human yet divine, and that Jesus’s resurrection is the final Mystery: it conquers death. With Paul we shout, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). It reconciles. And it unites all —the stoners and the stoned with the One who demands “Let the one who has no sin cast the first stone.”

I like this quote of Richard Rohr, whose book Breathing Under Water is our Lenten Sunday School study: “We see in Jesus the divine being who is also the perfect human being. Jesus comes in a human body to show us the face of God, the One who is eternally compassionate and eternally joyous, who stands with us in our sufferings and our joys. As Christians, our vocation is to unite with both Christ crucified and Christ risen.”

I am grateful for the cycle of the liturgical year. Let us be immersed in its rhythm, ever more deeply this year than last year, be surprised by the Mystery, and walk a bit more brightly into the newness of life Christ takes us to.

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