Daily Reflection
April 6th, 2005

Eileen Burke-Sullivan

Theology Department
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Acts 5:17-26
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
John 3:16-21

Some years ago, while giving a parish workshop on the liturgical year, I asked the group how they celebrate each of the major liturgical seasons. We spent much time on Advent and Christmas and even more time on Lent, but when it came to discussing how we celebrate the Easter season the group fell silent. They seemed unaware that there even was an “Easter Season.”

Seven weeks (a week of weeks) to keep up the energy of praise and gratitude for God’s great work in Jesus Christ.

I suspect it has to do with the fact that for many people it is easier to feel emotions of excited preparation for the birth of a child, or the emotions of joy and awe when a baby is born, or even the emotions of guilt, shame, and the necessity of “cleaning up” our interior house that Lent inspires, or even the grief or sadness that accompanies the death and burial of the Lord during the Triduum. But sustained joy that we really have been forgiven, that sorrow and fear have been overcome, that we are liberated for the service of God’s Kingdom every day – that is just too hard to fathom. Perhaps we just don’t believe that Jesus is fully alive to us, and comes in our flesh with the intimacy of God that he enjoyed. As my students sometimes say, “I just don’t know anybody that really talks to God or believe that God talks to them.”

It is challenging to be convinced that our prison doors really are open and we can step out and preach the Kingdom of justice and mercy because we have experienced it!

It is difficult to believe that death is not the end, as we mourn our recent losses of family or friends!

It is just incredible that we don’t have to be controlled by fear of poverty, or humiliation, or illness, or danger, or old age . . . or (fill in the blank) ____________!

It is, perhaps, almost impossible to believe that God loves us more than we can love ourselves, that God does not condemn, but finds every possible reason to pardon and forgive.

It is an enormous challenge to feel free to be “radiant with joy.”

This simple Wednesday-in-the-Second-Week-of-Easter-Season-Liturgy challenges us to believe with our lives – to know in the depths of our thoughts and our feelings that we are free from the prisons of self doubt and other’s condemning opinions to be delighted (of the light) in the absolute freedom of the Risen Christ, now. . . here. . . on earth as it is in heaven! This day and everyday of the week, every week of our lives! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


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