From Darkness to Light, From Death to New Life!
As I reflect on our readings for Easter Sunday, I am acutely aware of the fact that this reflection will be sent out and possibly read on the Monday or in the days leading into Holy Week.
This awareness is important because we cannot begin to understand the depth and profound gratuitous gift of new life in the Resurrected Christ unless we are willing to open our eyes, our hearts and our minds to the suffering and Crucified Christ.
As we enter into the Paschal Triduum we enter into the experience of the suffering of Christ Jesus who was betrayed, arrested, denied, beaten, scorned, ridiculed, and put to death. The Triduum, the Paschal Mystery, is not individual events or rituals but one flowing movement of God’s gracious outpouring of Crucified Love that breaks the bonds of suffering and death to offer new life, new hope and the promise that the Christ who was raised from death will come again.
Let us enter this week and remember the presence of the suffering Christ in our sisters and brothers who have been abused and betrayed by the clerical leaders whom they trusted. Let us recognize those who have been betrayed and imprisoned into the darkness of human slavery and trafficking. Let us acknowledge the suffering Christ in the men, women, and children arrested at our southern border and denied the right to seek asylum and refugee status. Let us look upon the suffering Christ in those scorned, ridiculed, and beaten because of the color of their skin, because of the clothes they wear, the way they pray and express their faith or their human sexuality. Let us truly see the dying and crucified Christ in all those who have lost their lives from violence, hatred, and shootings in schools, at concerts, in movie theaters, in churches, mosques and synagogues. This is the Body of Christ suffering and dying in our midst and in our world today.
Our culture, our society, our self-centeredness continues to create an environment of distrust, hatred, and fear. Is this really any different than what Jesus encountered in his final days? Yet God continues to pour out forgiveness, mercy, and reconciling love and invites us to recognize and to work for the unity, goodness, and healing of the Body of Christ in our world. Only then will we begin to understand the gift of Resurrected Love and the promise of One Spirit that flows through and unites all people and all creation. May we be willing to embrace the darkness of pain and suffering and be the light and the hope of Christ’s presence and resurrected love for others!
Margaret Magee OSF
Member of the FAN Board
During the special masses and services of this Holy Week, deeply contemplate the pain and suffering of Jesus and find time to be silently attentive to any response you feel from the Spirit.
May the love of the risen Lord permeate our hearts and seep in to everything we do, we pray…
For all those struggling with their faith, may the story of the empty tomb strengthen their conviction in God, we pray…
O God, who on this day,
through your Only Begotten Son,
have conquered death
and unlocked for us the path to eternity,
grant, we pray, that we who keep
the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection
may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit,
rise up in the light of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.