Clergy Notes — Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020

I write this in the stillness of Holy Saturday morning, as the body of Jesus lies in the tomb. Stillness, numbness, waiting. At this time the women in the Gospels, grieving and lamenting, were preparing the spices and ointments to give Jesus’ body its final burial. Ordinarily on Holy Saturday there is less stillness in St. James’; instead it is a flurry of activity: cleaning, flowers, preparing vestments and holy hardware, practising music. Then it all comes to fruition in the glory of the Great Vigil and the Solemn Mass of Easter Day.

Not so this year. All we can do is watch and wait. And yet, and yet, this glorious spring weather reminds us that we can watch and wait in hope. In his uplifting Holy Tuesday address on vocation, baptismal and ordained, Bishop Michael Ingham referred us to this comment of the British artist, David Hockney, “They can’t cancel the spring.”  [Click here] All around us, even in the darkness of this pandemic, there are signs of new life: cherry blossom, leaves budding on trees, flowers blooming, vegetables sprouting. By the same token, Bishop Michael declared, “They can’t cancel the resurrection.” This Lent and Holy Week has been like none any of us has known, and has brought with it its own particular set of discipline, fasting and testing. Despite and indeed because of this, dare we come with Mary Magdalene to the empty tomb tomorrow morning, and, with her, hear the Risen Christ gladden our hearts when he calls us, each one, by our name?

Easter Blessings,

Fr. Kevin

Here is a traditional Easter hymn for further reflection:

Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love who had been slain,
Thinking that He never would awake again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

Forth He came at Easter, like the risen grain,
Jesus who for three days in the grave had lain;
Quick from the dead the risen One is seen:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
Jesus’ touch can call us back to life again,
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

John Crum