Let There Be Light
There is nothing quite like celebrating Easter by attending the Easter Vigil! The lighting of fire in the dark and the marking of the new Easter candle; the passing of flames from Christ to each of us; those first Glorias and Alleluias after their absence in Lent; the Felix Culpa of the Exsultet; the pungent fragrance of lilies. All signs that the waiting is over – that victory is ours, that light has overcome the darkness.
From the Psalm 118 for the mass of Easter Day, this verse jumped out:
The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.
A few years back I had an insight that deeply impacted me – that the Resurrected Christ rose with the signs of his wounds intact. Even though the source and cause of those wounds had been defeated through Jesus’ breaking of the bonds of sin – their effects remained, although glorified.
Like the Psalm, the focus isn’t on the rejection of the stone…but precisely because it was rejected by the builders the Lord made it the cornerstone.
During Lent we have given special attention to uncomfortable areas of our lives – areas of weakness and woundedness. With the arrival of Easter (remember it’s 50 days, ten more than Lent) hopefully we don’t close the door on the growth and healing that has been started without allowing the light to rush in.
What resurrection graces and gifts does Our Lord have for us in those specific areas? I know I’m always ready to leave Lent behind, thank you very much – but this year I’m feeling called to a more mature passing of liturgical seasons.
To not look away so quickly from the shadow parts of myself I pressed into. To let Christ invite me to put my hands into his side and let Him put his hands into my open holes. To allow the Spirit’s vision to give me new perspective on these wounds – to see where and how the Father’s love and mercy has renewed me. Maybe (probably) there’s still room for growth – but let’s allow ourselves to rejoice and give thanks for the good works his salvation is working in us!
From the Easter morning Gospel:
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
Mary was still in the dark seeking Jesus when she saw the tomb rolled away. I think there’s a poignant message in that – she didn’t wait until light had come. She discovered the resurrection precisely because she pursued God’s presence in the dark.
We never know when He will surprise us with new life, new insight, new healing – but our best bet for discoveries are by keeping our lamps lit, noticing the places where death seems to still have a hold, and attentively noticing the changes that sprout up without our realizing.
He is Risen and we are invited to do so with Him!