So, it’s the Monday morning after Easter. I’m still mulling over the question, “So what has changed?” Does our celebration of Easter make any difference? I’m concluding, “No, for most it doesn’t! Except for kids who’ve come to look forward to it as a mini-Halloween — Easter baskets just being a smaller version of their Halloween haul.”
I do not mean that as a crotchety old curmudgeon! Rather, it points to the importance and urgency of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits. I’ve come to believe that unless people have some sort of a genuine personal experience of the passion and death of Jesus, even the liturgical celebration of the Triduum remains an exercise of pious wishful thinking regarding a reward in the hereafter.
Far too many may even regard going to church on Easter as a pious social practice at best or, at worst, as an obligation for earning heaven. I’m not saying the Spiritual Exercises are the only means to open us to the transforming grace of encountering the Risen Christ! It is simply an especially well honed instrument for disposing us to such grace. When well executed and fully engaged, the Triduum liturgies will also dispose us to the same.
But this morning I’m still taken by what I shared yesterday…
“Life is changed, not ended.” echoes through these events and is evident in the world around. But how? How is life — the whole creation — different from yesterday? Easter Sunday cannot be a final, singular, historic event. So much suffering, injustice and death attest to that. Rather change, transformation, resurrection, salvation, reconciliation, peace, joy, justice, pulses within and radiates from all that shares being. Resurrection is now, here, today if anywhere, ever!
Gerard Manley Hopkins captured it best when suggesting Easter as a verb. If yesterday, if the Triduum, means anything at all it is that Christ “Easters” in us and throughout all creation. That is the only faith that can nurture and sustain us within a world of war, death, suffering and injustice! Christ “Easters” in us, or not at all! We are to be an instrument and locus of that “Eastering” in our world.
Otherwise, we are simply about something as fantastical as the Easter Bunny.