Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday

That Jesus is risen from the dead means that he is now present to us in an utterly new way, overcoming all the absences, distances, silences, misunderstandings and disloyalties that separate us from one another and from God. The Risen Christ is not “up there” or “out there” but truly rising in our own hearts.

Saint Paul testified to this intimate, accessible vitality of the Risen Christ when he exclaimed to the Galatians: “I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me.” He recognized with the certainty of faith that the Risen Christ in his very life was the greatest gift to celebrate and live from. This gift is not just what Jesus said and did but who he is - the Word who gives himself to us, and who speaks to our hearts simply by being. This is the Word spoken once into history and now eternally alive. He is the event of faith who gives us an experience of God.

As John of the Cross says in his Spiritual Canticle, the Risen Christ makes even the divine “always new and increasingly amazing.” (Cant.14:8)  The Easter experience is for us to arrive at the tomb of utter loss – the loss of Jesus, of God, of Life and Light and Love and Truth and sometimes ourselves and discover that this tomb is mysteriously empty of the deepest emptiness, of the most insuperable inaccessibility, empty of death itself. 

Ultimately, the Easter experience is to experience in our exhaustion, in our powerlessness, in our failure, that it is Christ who comes to us, the Risen One who lives and comes and finds us, enabling us to seek and find him.  This is what Peter with the other disciples experienced when the Risen Lord suddenly came to them behind locked doors in the upper room.  As we anticipate life beyond the empty tomb and our own locked doors, let us believe with deep confidence the Psalmist’s promise: “He himself will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in his presence, at his right hand happiness forever.” (Ps. 15:11)

Detail of The Resurrected Christ by Bergognone. Meditation by Father Dominic.