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‘Easter the beautiful’

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‘Easter the beautiful’

The greatest of Solemnities brings a joy beyond all telling and countless other graces, but how, asks Dom Hugh Gilbert*, do we do justice to the power and glory of the Resurrection in our lives?  In all humility, we realise that we simply can’t, but the celebration of the Liturgy and holiness of life are two ways which – in his words – ‘approach adequacy’.

It is this second way that I’d like to reflect upon today. Easter is about rejoicing, about believing (as we’ll hear this Sunday: ‘Doubt no longer, but believe‘, Thomas is told)… and Easter is about living.

The reading for Mass today shows Peter living the meaning of the resurrection:  The crippled man at the Beautiful Gate begs from Peter and John.   Peter is unable to give him what he asks for but instead gives him much, much more: ‘I have neither silver silver nor gold, but I will give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!‘  (Acts 3:6-8).  It would never have occurred to the man to ask to be healed but this is characteristic of Easter:  God drenches us in grace.

Perhaps we don’t get what we’d hoped and prayed for but in the light of the resurrection we see that we have received so much more.  And what do we do with what we have been given?  That’s for us to discern in this Octave and beyond, but we can make a start by recognising the risen Christ in those around us.  As Abbot Hugh maintains, ‘If we can see the risen Christ in others, we can be sure he’s in ourselves, however unrisen we sometimes feel.  Like recognizes like.’ Let’s let him complete our reflection:

Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.  May we keep the feast – ‘Easter the beautiful’ – by faith, by joy, by the whole of our lives: believing, rejoicing, living.  And may he bring us altogether to eternal life!’

Vivendo teneant!**

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*Unfolding the Mystery: Monastic Conferences on the Liturgical Year by Dom Hugh Gilbert, OSB, Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey ** …means (roughly) ‘may we hold on to this in our lives!’

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