Reflections

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord (Apr. 16, 2017)

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord (Apr. 16, 2017)


Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord (Apr. 16, 2017)

Posted by Rev. Charles B. Gordon, C.S.C., The Garaventa Center, University of Portland on

Long before we arrive at our Gospel account of Christ’s
Resurrection, the symbols of the Easter season, the spring
flowers, eggs, rabbits and lambs, reveal to us that Easter is a
celebration of new life . Easter is like our first springtime visit
to a sunlit garden, when every glance at new blossoms, every
breath of fragrant air, seems an extraordinary privilege. When
we reflect back on such moments, we feel sympathy with the
young G. K. Chesterton, who wrote in a notebook:

Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And tomorrow begins another
Why am I allowed two?

But there are shades of sadness in Chesterton’s joyful,
grateful words, for when evening comes, the day dies. And
while we may be allowed another, we know that one such day
will be our last. The pleasure we take in a springtime garden,
is the more poignant, because we know that the garden must
have its winter, and so must we. To live is to leave behind.

In a few days, the flowers that fill our churches will fade. In
time, all earthly beauty withers and dies. Malcolm Muggeridge
believed “death is essentially the reason for religion. We could
probably rub along if it wasn’t for death, but we can’t, because
of the fact of death.” Nevertheless, countless people,
heedless of the futility of the attempt, try to “rub along”
without God.

Why? Why, when the Good News is clamoring to be
heard, do so many stop their ears? Is it because faith is
unfashionable, or the story poorly told? No one who is really
hungry hesitates to eat unfashionable food. A starving
gourmet would welcome a cold can of beans. And clearly the
world is starving for what Easter offers.

St. Paul entreats us, "Be intent on the things above
rather than on things of earth." Many decline the invitation.
Called to look up and live , we continue to keep our eyes fixed
firmly on the earth at our feet. Perhaps we’re afraid to look
up from our earthly distractions and preoccupations, for fear
that if we do, we’ll see our own mortality staring us in the
face. Just about able to convince ourselves that this life and
its incidents are enough for us, we dare not hope for more, for
fear our hopes will be disappointed.

But they will not be disappointed. The Good News of
Easter is true. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, has endured death and
defeated it. And his Resurrection today is a preview of the
eternal life that is there for all of us, if we will only say yes to
the loving God who offers it to us. C. S. Lewis called death
“Satan’s greatest weapon and also God’s greatest weapon: it
is holy and unholy; our supreme disgrace and our only hope;
the thing Christ came to conquer and the means by which He
conquered.”

The Sequence puts it well, “Death and life were locked
together in a unique struggle. Life's captain died; now he
reigns, never more to die… Christ my hope has risen. He will
go before you into Galilee.” Christ is risen. In him, we have
won a great victory over death --our greatest and most ancient
foe. It only remains for us to share in the fruits of that
victory.

When we renew our Baptismal promises today, we will
announce aloud that we refuse and reject all that is lifeless --
all that is destructive and deadly. We will publicly proclaim
that we believe in the God who came into this world as one of
us, so that we might have life in its fullness.

Fr. Charles Gordon, C.S.C.

Rev. Charles B. Gordon, C.S.C., is co-director of the Garaventa Center for Catholic Intellectual Life and American Culture at the University of Portland. He writes and records a regular blog called “Fractio Verbi.”




Related Posts