Easter Monday

Lectionary: 261

Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him. But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it.


On Easter Monday in 1916 a terrible beauty was born in Dublin, Ireland. A small band of Irish patriots stormed and held several major government buildings, including the General Post Office. Because the British army was largely engaged in the futility of the First World War, the response was delayed and the dream of Irish independence arose. Although independence did not come for several more years Ireland remembers this event as Americans remember July 4, 1776. A terrible beauty -- Ireland, a Sovereign Nation -- was born that the greatest army in the world could not suppress. 

Christians throughout the world remember the paschal weekend in Jerusalem when a terrible beauty was born. It was impossible for Jesus to be held by death or the grave. Nor could the Roman Empire suppress the Gospel that would spread from India to England within a very short time. 

And it is impossible that we, his chosen and beloved people, should be forever bound by sin. We too celebrate the terrible beauty of freedom as we hear of the women leaving the tomb “fearful yet overjoyed."
Our freedom, like our enslavement, is subtle. It requires attention and care; we must ponder these things in our hearts to understand what they mean and how our lives have changed by them.
When the Second World War ended every American knew about it within hours, but what difference did it actually make to them that day? The sun still rose and set; the meals had to be served and consumed; the laundry washed and put away. What difference did the Allied victory make to most people?

The Church celebrates every day of Easter Week as if it were Sunday. We will hear most of the Gospel stories of Jesus’ appearances and will recite or sing the Gloria every day, along with the double alleluias. We will recall visions that were hidden from the great and powerful of this world, who remain in darkness to this day. 
Perhaps the only discernible difference will be a certain willingness to smile more often, to laugh more freely, to thank for even smaller favors, to ask with less petulance, and to share what we have more generously.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.