Matthew 28:1-10 (Year A) Mark 16:1-8 (Year B) Luke 24:1-12 (Year C)
On This Sunday's Prompts for Personal Meditation The new rises through the old - our sins and mistakes, our frail bodies, our histories,events, relationships, tragedies, our senses, our memories, our intellects, our imaginations. In the fourth century Hilary of Poitiers wrote "God will repair what has been shattered, but not by mending it with something else. Rather, out of the old and very same material of its origin, God will impart to it an appearance of beauty pleasing to Himself." Here is the core gift of Christianity. We participate in the Resurrection: we become Christ's body and like shafts of wheat we lose our dry husks and rise from the old with godlike marks (meditation one). Even the forces of hell contends with this principle. Seeking to grasp a body it meets God instead. Seeking to overtake earth it encounters heaven (meditation two). But how obvious is this? Can we speed up time? Can we know what happens beyond and behind our senses? No. But in addition to observing resurrection in nature, a liturgical life offers training in subtle awareness of the fundamental truth of regeneration. Sign after sign. Dawn after dawn (meditation three). With wishes for a holy Pasche and joyful Eastertide, -Suzanne
Meditation One (introit) out of the old In the beginning, we see, it was not an ear rising from a grain, but a grain coming from an ear, and, after that, the ear grows round the grain: the order indicated in this similitude clearly shows that all the blessed state which arises for us by means of the resurrection is only a return to our pristine state of grace. We too were once in a fashion a full ear; but the burning heat of sin withered us up, and then on our dissolution by death the earth received us, but in the spring of the resurrection, the earth will reproduce this naked grain of our body in the form of an ear, tall, well-proportioned, and erect, reaching to the heights of heaven, and, for blade and beard, resplendent in incorruption, with all the other godlike marks.
-Macrina 324-379, On the Soul and the Resurrection quoted from Gail Ramshaw's Treasures Old and New
Over the chaos of the empty waters hovered the Spirit, bringing forth creation; so from the empty tomb the Second Adam issued triumphant. By the same Spirit we, regenerated into the body of our risen Savior, seek through the power of the new creation life everlasting By the same Spirit we are called to worship God our Creator, Savior, Sanctifier, of whom the glory in both earth and heaven, is manifested. Monastic Breviary (stanzas 1-2)
Meditation Two (insight) took what it saw Hell took a body, and face to face met God! It took earth, and encountered Heaven! It took what it saw, but crumbled before what it had not seen! "O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory?" Christ is risen, and you are overthrown! Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen, and the Angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and Life reigns! Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the tombs! For Christ being raised from the dead, has become the first-fruits of them that slept. To Him be glory and dominion through all the ages of ages!
-John Chrysostom 347-407 The Easter Homily
Meditation Three (integration) consciousness reborn with dawn Sunrise is an event that calls forth solemn music in the very depth of human nature, as if one's whole being had to attune itself to the cosmos and praise God for the new day, praise God in the name of all the creatures that ever were or ever will be. I look at the rising sun and feel that now upon me falls the responsibility of seeing what all my ancestors have seen, in the Stone Age and even before it, praising God before me....When the sun rises each one of us is summoned by the living and the dead to praise God.
-Thomas Merton 1915-1968 Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
The Last Word God will repair what has been shattered, but not by mending it with something else. Rather, out of the old and very same material of its origin, God will impart to it an appearance of beauty pleasing to Himself.
- Hilary of Poitiers c300-c368
peacock - symbol of resurrection, Boticelli, Visitation of the Magi