Alleluia! Easter greetings and blessings! Today we celebrate the risen Christ; today we proclaim that Christ has vanquished sin and death and has raised us to new life! Alleluia!
It is a very joyous day indeed and perhaps needs very little explanation if we can experience it for ourselves: through liturgy and worship; in the renewal of our baptismal vows; and in our fellowship with one another.
There is a wonderful story in St Gregory’s Dialogues that I have been thinking about, which is shared in the Reflection. In it, St Benedict has been alone in his cave in Subiaco for three years when he is visited by a priest sent by God to keep him company at Easter. However, Benedict does not know it is Easter because he has been alone for so long and so removed from everything. Yet when the priest invites him to share in the Easter feast, Benedict replies, “I know that it is Easter with me and a great feast, having found so much favour at God’s hands as this day to enjoy your company.” As Esther de Waal comments, “In the face of the first person that he sees, Benedict finds the firstfruits of the resurrection and of the new world to which he is called.”
In all the resurrection stories we are about to hear over the coming weeks, Christ first appears as a stranger. It is only in the sharing of intimate moments that they recognize him for who he is. I find this to be an invitation; am I able to see the resurrected Christ in the face of each person I meet? Am I willing to invite the other into my own heart so that I may meet the risen Christ?
A blessed and happy Eastertide to you all, and may we discover the risen Christ anew in one another, each time we meet.