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April 13, 2017
Greetings to all our readers as we celebrate the great Christian Feast of Easter.
For us as Christians the joy of Easter can only be celebrated in the context of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. These combined celebrations lead us through a seamless experience of sharing a last meal, an agonizing experience in the garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion and death of Jesus, the experience of death in the tomb and finally rising into the joy of the Resurrection.
Through the reflections and celebrations of these events we come to understand that Easter is birthed from the reality of the crucifixion. Love remains. Even in the darkness of Good Friday, the taste of death and silence in the tomb and in the new life of the Resurrection.
In the gospels we see that in Mary Magdalene love does not waver. It is expressed in her tears at the empty tomb, in her questions in the garden, and in sheer delight in hearing her name spoken – in this moment she becomes the first Apostle of the Resurrection. She rejoices in this moment of awakening that she is ever held in the love flow of God.
Easter celebrates those surprising moments of joy when our God appears in the disguise of a gardener and a stranger. Our God is a God of Surprises, delighting in our moments of wonder and joy. Just as the hearts of the women in the Easter Gospel were filled with joy, so too our hearts are filled with joy when we see with new eyes and new perspectives. When we embrace the butterfly within, and when we open our hearts and reach out in compassion.
As I look back at my own Easter experiences I am reminded of those precious moments of wonder and beauty when I have been awakened by the beauty of the dawning of a new day. When I waited with baited breath together with 120 year two’s for the emergence of the butterfly from the chrysalis, when I have delighted in life bursting forth from a seed or held the gift of a newborn.
As we come to celebrate this Easter we are mindful that our world is crying out for the joy, peace and love that Easter brings. It holds the pain and sorrow of our planet earth, and of so many of our brothers and sisters who continue to live the suffering of Good Friday.
Let us pray that the power of the Good News prevails in these troubled places, and that people live and act in ways that declare that Jesus is truly risen and that the resilience of hope prevails.
Monica Cavanagh rsj