The Easter event warps time, we’re told, at least in a liturgical sense.
Easter is NOT a single day – Sunday – in the church’s view. It is an eight-day solemnity, stretching all the way ‘til next weekend. And I got a whiff of that reality this morning, as soon as I entered our parish’s worship space for 6:30 Mass.
The aroma of incense lingered in the air. And so my nostrils were confirming a rather mind-bending truth: The celebration at which I’d been present on Sunday morning…did indeed continue into the pre-dawn hours on Monday. I could literally smell it in the air.
And I was glad for the replay, I realized. I was glad for the comparatively intimate crowd. I was glad for the dim lighting. I was glad for the subtle scent that recalled the rapturous feast.
All of it, together, seemed to match the mood of the gospel readings I heard yesterday and today. Today’s continuation felt a lot more mysterious than Sunday’s liturgy. It provided a sharp contrast to the joyful chorus that characterized our worship the day before.
Ineffable, really: We were encountering something beyond words, beyond alleluias, here. By allowing our minds to be bent, our time to be warped, we’d entered into a sort of kinship with Mary Magdalen and the other Mary – our hearts “fearful, yet overjoyed.”
Then, even as we bow to embrace the Risen Lord’s feet, we grapple with yet another strange truth: How much Jesus trusts us. How, even in his resurrected glory, he relies on us…to be bearers of this Good News.
“Do not be afraid,” he says. “Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
Agents, we are charged to be – effective witnesses of an event we could probably spend a lifetime wrapping our minds and hearts around. But there’s no time for dawdling. No time for parsing or debating. Our charge is simply to go, and tell, as the marvelous wonder of this day – these eight days – proceeds apace to unfold.
He is Risen! Alleluia!
We’re just a few weeks away…from bringing the Good News into Menard Correctional Center, through Kairos Prison Ministry. You can make a tax-deductible “green agape” donation to help defray the cost of the Kairos Weekend, by clicking here to contribute: https://bit.ly/3JIZNf7 (Designate “Menard State Prison”)
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.