Season of Easter

Photo: Artit Fongfung / Shutterstock.com

They found the stone rolled away … this phrase is found in the gospel of easter morning. It is a brief phrase but it tells us that something new, something mysterious, something not yet known is happening. The rolled-away stone is a strong symbol enabling us to hear and to recognize the easter message. It heralds a shift, a new paradigm.

That first easter, the followers of Jesus were confused. Like all of us they believed that what they thought was true was still true – that Jesus was gone, that death was final, that the “enemy” was victorious, and that there were reasons to be afraid. They thought it necessary to hide. The easter stories tell of their struggles to understand. They begin to experience that Jesus was raised from the dead and that the meaning of resurrection was not a singular Jesus event, rather resurrection proclaimed that all creation is filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God. This was a new day and the experience of the risen Jesus was transforming their world.

Through the years, scholars have written many theories about the meaning of the crucifixion, the paschal mystery, and the significance of redemption. But the early followers of Jesus theorized less and experienced more. Jesus the Christ was alive among them. They recognized that the resurrection of Jesus was the beginning of the end times. While they expected an imminent return of a triumphant Jesus, an expectation crafted by their Jewish faith and grounded in their messianic beliefs, they also knew that the Spirit was poured out in their world.

Their expectations of the imminent return of Jesus triumphant were not to be realized, but the outpouring of the Spirit soon exploded their world and changed their lives forever in ways they could not have imagined.

Suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit — Acts of the Apostles

A rolled-away stone and tongues of flame challenged these women and men into discovering that the sacred, living God was within and among them and within all of creation. No longer fearful, they became preachers of a new truth, ready to see life differently. The were no longer small, rather their largeness of heart and conviction of spirit reeled with power. Their hearts burned within them and they felt the stirrings and the demands of mission: Go into all the world and preach the Good News …


Karen Rossman

 

Reflections celebrated on Sundays and weekdays during this holy Season of Easter will be found under Scriptural Reflections.  http://www.dominicancenter.org/spirituality/scriptural-reflections/