Arising from sleep

Has it happened yet? Has Easter happened in you?

We’ve all just passed through the beautiful, deep, grace-laden days of the Paschal event. This timeless, outside-of-time event has come around again in our liturgical year, and we have in some way or other walked through the Lenten days leading up to the Passion.

I heard many “confess” that they had not done as well with Lent as they had wanted. Yet suddenly those most holy days were upon us again, and ready or not, we took up the final walk with Jesus. Then the stunning amazement of Easter! The bells, the lilies, the glorious light—the shivery stories of empty tomb and well-folded linens! We have heard this story. It is our touchstone. And we may pick up a sense that the ”veil is thin” in these most holy days, between our earthly time and the ever-present Paschal Mystery. We may sense that grace is thick, and pouring forth, anointing us who are gathered round the story.

Each year I enter the story at a different place. Sometimes I’m lost in watching Him at the Last Supper. Other years I am unquestionably with Him at Gethsemane….or on the cross-carrying walk…or at the foot of His Cross. But this year I was in the empty tomb…and hearing the call to my own arising. We do not know of ANYone else who arose from the dead, but we have heard stories of those whom Jesus brought back to life—resuscitated.

What I’m sensing this year is Jesus resuscitating US, bringing us back to life. Like the Gospel story of Jairus’ daughter, the little girl who had died, Jesus comes and says: “Talitha kum. Little Girl, get up.” He tells the mourners, “She is not dead. She is sleeping.” I am looking at Easter this year as a call to each of us to wake from sleep. If our life feels dull, dark, without purpose or joy—Jesus says “Wake up. You are not dead!” If we forget why we’re doing what we’re doing, or what our life is really for, Jesus says “Wake up! You’ve been asleep.” If we wonder why others seem to get ahead, have an easy path, have perfect families or perfect jobs—Jesus says: “Wake up! That’s not why you’re here!” If we wonder why we aren’t nicer or kinder or holier, Jesus says : ”Wake up, my Love! You’ve been asleep—you’ve forgotten who you are!”

So has it happened yet? Have you heard your call to awake from sleep? A new day is dawning! Wake up, sleepyhead, and taste the new life!