Easter - the central most important Event in the Christian calendar. Why? Its only because of the the death and Resurrection of Jesus that we are followers of Jesus the Christ. Without this event, life as a Christian would not be possible.
As I go to Mass daily I get to experience a lot of homilies and I must say most are very good. Unfortunately the sermon I heard during the Easter Vigil this year was uncommonly poor. As I wondered why the priest could not just talk simply on the beautiful mystery that we were celebrating my mind moved back to a passage in Ronald Rohlheiser's book "The Holy Longing" on the Paschal Mystery.
“a process of transformation within which we are given both new life and new spirit. It begins with suffering and death, moves on to the reception of new life, spends some time grieving the old and adjusting to the new, and finally, only after the old life has been truly let go of, is a new spirit given for the life we are already living”.
Fr. Rohlheiser outlines Jesus' paschal journey in stages:
1. Real death (Good Friday)
2. Receiving new life (Easter)
3. A time to grieve the old and readjust to the new life (the 50 days)
4. A time to let go and let the old bless you (ascension)
5. Receiving the new Spirit to go with the new life (Pentecost)
He then gives examples of people who have lived the paschal mystery in their lives. The idea is they go through a kind of death in their lives; an experience of loss of some kind that causes great pain. Within the grieving of the loss they receive a new life and eventually the spirit to live that new life.
This makes clear the living presence of the Spirit as we go through the ups and downs of life. Our faith in the Risen Christ does not protect us from the painful things of life. It does not make us rich, handsome or smart.
The gift of the presence of the Living Christ in our lives is all about presence and relationship. Through our relationship with Our Lord we have what we need to go through the many transitions of life, both the joyful and the sorrowful. And yes to get through the ordinary not so exciting times too.
Dear Lord, please give us the grace to continue to live the Easter celebrations in our everyday lives. May we go through life open to recognize your Presence and ready to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.