Saturday, 3 April 2010

Easter Sunday

We have walked our way through Holy Week and arrived at the Easter Vigil! In the Dominican tradition we will go to the Easter Vigil tonight with our black Cappa on (see picture on the right), and throw these off during the Gloria, showing the white of the habit in it's fullness! The light of the resurrection!

However, let us look at the Gospel (John 20:1-9) what the resurrection meant to the disciples of Jesus. Easter can be quite dramatic as an experience on itself, but also quite an anti climax after the whole build-up towards it. This shouldn't be the way however, as we are on a continual journey. So how did the disciples of Jesus experience the Resurrection? The disciples did not really understand what Jesus was talking about all the time before now, or how to understand it:

"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written of the Son of man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon; they will scourge him and kill him, and on the third day he will rise." But they understood none of these things; this saying was hid from them, and they did not grasp what was said. (Lk 18:31-34)


What does it means to rise from the death, only now it slowly became clear that all is not over when they find the tomb empty, be it is only very slowly. There was no sign of a body and only the cloths were there. We read that "the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed" (Joh 20:8 RSV). This was the same disciple "whom Jesus loved [who] said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" (Joh 21:7 RSV)" later on.

But on the grand scaler of things the others seem a bit slow. Everything is still quite on a low key, as still "they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead". (Joh 20:9 RSV) and they "went back to their homes" (Joh 20:10 RSV). But in the hours, and days, to come, slowly more and more will become clear, with Mary Magdalen meeting the Lord after the disciples have gone from the tomb (Joh 20:11-18), the event of the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35), the appearance of Jesus at the end of that first day to the disciples (Joh 20:19) etc.

In the time between Easter and Pentacost we are on a continued, but also new journey, the disciples get themselves together and started to belief again and slowly understand what it means that Jesus is risen from the death... they reflect and ponder the events and digest everything, but seem in a way to go on with their normal business: "Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." (Joh 21:3 RSV)". This however was not the labor that they were destined to as "that night they caught nothing. (Joh 21:3 RSV).  It is a time of growing, from Holy Saturday when Jesus is death towards the fullness of life in Christ. It is a time necessary to lead up to the sudden explosion of the message when the Holy Spirit coming on Pentecost...


So Today the Lord is Risen, let us rejoice! We sing Alleluia once more after the silence of the last forty days! We enjoy the celebration of the Resurrection!

Even though we might not grasp imediately what it means, let us rejoice now and after everything calms down once more we can take the time to reflect on the joy of the risen Lord brings to us by being part of our lives. In the coming forty days we can prepare ourselvs for Pentacost, that while we have these past events, like the appostles, digested and pondered in our hearts, we too will explode with zeal and love in our outreach to others as a result...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Virgin was absolutely certain of the Resurrection of her Son because He had so openly predicted it. However, she did not know the hour, which is, in fact, determined nowhere. Therefore, the night of Holy Saturday seemed very long indeed and she spent the time reflecting on the possible time of the Resurrection. She was aware that David, more than the other prophets, had spoken of the Passion of Christ and she skimmed through the psalms, but found no indication of the hour. However, in Psalm 57, David, speaking in the person of the Father to His Son, said: "Awake, my glory, awake my lyre and harp..." And the Son answered: "I will awake at dawn ..." When the Virgin Mary realized the hour of the Resurrection, I will let you imagine how quickly she must have got up to see if the dawn had risen. When she found that it had not, she continued reading the psalms. She wanted to find out if any of the other prophets had mentioned the time of the Resurrection and she found this text in chapter 6: 2-3 of Hosea: "After two days he will revive us, on the third day he will raise us up and we will live in his presence. Let us strive to know the Lord, for his coming is a sure as the dawn."
The Virgin got up and said: "These witnesses to the time of my Son's Resurrection are enough for me..." Then she looked out the window and saw that the dawn was beginning to break. Her joy was great: "My son will soon resuscitate," she said. Then, kneeling down, she prayed: "Awake, stand in front of me and look, and you, Lord God Sabaoth, awake." Immediately, Christ sent the angel Gabriel to her saying, "You once announced to my mother the Incarnation of the Word, announce to her now His resurrection." Then the Angel flew to Mary and said to her, "Queen of Heaven, rejoice, because the One you deserved to carry in your womb is risen as He said." And Christ greeted His mother, saying: "Peace be with you"... And Mary said to her Son: "Before, my Son, I worshipped on Saturday, in honor of the holy rest after the creation of the world. Now I will worship on Sunday in memory of your Resurrection, and your rest and glory." And Christ approved.
saint vincent ferrier, dominican spanish saint

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