Matthew 28:1-10 (Year A) Mark 16:1-8 (Year B) Luke 24:1-12 (Year C)
About This Week's Prompts for Meditation
...he makes us utterly real. -Symeon the New Theologian
The core of the mystery is transformation. Not a magical replacement of the old with something new, but an innovating change from deep within, of that which is rising toward fulfillment and completion. Suffering and death is somehow intregal to the process. In Holy Week Christians play through liturgy the mystery lying at the heart of the universe, so that we, too, may eventually surrender ourselves to this transformation and become utterly real.
In this process flesh becomes Word (meditation one), our very dust, our bodies, realize the animating Spirit bearing our humanity (meditation two). Then, not clinging to the wonder and awe of union, we're sent to go and tell the good news of everlasting love (meditation three).
Blessed Pascha! -Suzanne
Meditation One (introit) flesh becomes Word
As Mary Magdalene discovers amidst her grief and bewilderment in the garden, recognition of "the Word become flesh" involves remaining open to the possibility that, through the grace of God, the flesh is equally capable of becoming Word, of reaching into our hearts and allowing our eyes to perceive with new understanding what had actually been there all along. When Word issues forth from flesh, Spirit from substance, all things are brought clearly into focus....
...as the shades of night begin to dissolve into morning, Mary, like so many who encountered Jesus before her, experiences a gradual awakening that blossoms into epiphany only when the Word is added to flesh, when Jesus calls her forth into new understanding and insight. It is only then that she can see clearly that the gardener and her rabbi are one and the same.
We awaken in Christ's body as Christ awakens our bodies, and my poor hand is Christ. He enters my foot, and is infinitely me.
I move my hand, and wonderfully my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him (for God indivisibly whole, seamless in his Godhood.)
I move my foot, and at once He appears in a flash of lightning. Do my words seem blasphemous? - Then open your heart to Him
And let yourself receive the one who is opening to you so deeply. For if we genuinely love him, we wake up inside Christ's body
Where all our body, all over, every most hidden part of it, is realized as joy in Him, and He makes us utterly real.
And everything that is hurt, everything that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful, maimed, ugly, irreparably damaged, is in Him transformed
and recognized as whole, as lovely, and radiant in His light. We awaken as the Beloved in every last part of our body.
-Symeon the New Theologian 949-1022 (quoted from Holy Week Liturgies/ Cynthia Bourgeault)
Resurrection from a laudari, Bonaguida de Pacino, 1320's
Meditation Two (insight) real presence
Bringing these two things together - the mortal and the immortal, the earthly and the heavenly, the finite and the Infinite - is the central mystery of this mystery religion that we call Christianity. It's about "anointing" the world to be the real presence of God. This is what is celebrated in the Easter vigil and Eucharistic Feast. What we call "resurrection" is the full manifestation of the Incarnation itself. This is the revelation of what and who we really are...
...Thus the divine life comes down from heaven and is sown in a perishable body. But the divine life gradually rises up as the imperishable that it truly is. The world itself is to be wrapped in the mantle of divine praise, the presence of the life-giving Spirit. And this takes place through us, the highly conscious elements of the world, the humanity made from "humus," from the dust of the earth, the dust of the stars, and organized into a "living being," which is ultimately to realize itself as the "life-giving Spirit." The first humanity was from the earth, a humanity of dust; the second humanity is from heaven....Just as we have borne the image of the humanity of dust, we shall also bear the image of the humanity of heaven. (1Cor.15:47,49)
-Beatrice Bruteau The Easter Mysteries
Meditation Three (integration) where he dwells
And yet you may not cling to this delight of his presence, for you are not only in the garden but still in the desert as well, and he is the manna that you must seek each day, your daily bread. You have no need to cling to this experience. Rather, you must find him where he dwells in his brothers and sisters. Go and tell the others the good news: through the waters they are reborn into this garden of the beginning, where his Father is their father, and they are his brother and sister and mother. Let them look deeply enough into the waters of their grief and they will experience this for themselves: they will find the garden there and he, risen, in its midst.
-Bruno Barnhart The Good Wine: Reading John from the Center
Still Life, Heem, detail
The Last Word
Let us purify our senses, and in the unapproachable light of the Resurrection we shall see Christ shining forth, and we shall clearly hear him saying, “Rejoice!