Easter Morning

Il Volto Santo (Holy Face of Christ based on the image on the veil at the Church in Manoppello)

The heart of our Catholic Existence is to replicate the Risen Christ’s life. It is not Good Friday that saves our souls, but Easter morning. For without our Lord’s victorious rising from the tomb, the ignominy of the Cross would have just been one more account of man’s inhumanity. But the Cross is now the ultimate pledge of promise because here we see how our sins are swallowed up by mercy. It is Sunday and not Friday, for the Resurrection is infinitely greater than the tomb.

Yet Holy Mother Church asks us to arrive at Easter only through the movements of Passiontide. She knows we can appropriate deeply the freedom of Easter only if we first allow ourselves to go with Christ to the Cross. Only here can we know the true extent of his love, a love that fell in love with our brokenness to such an extent that it cost him his own life. The power of this past Week has been in learning the unmatchable scope of Christ’s love: the world will love us only where we are successful and strong, bright and beautiful.

But his love seems to operate in exact opposite fashion. Christ’s love looks past the perfections and supposed successes of our lives, and descends into the brokenness and the wretchedness of our lives. This is the paradox of incarnate love: the places where we feel righteous and blameless are usually the places where we fail to cry out for a savior.

This is great consolation when we remember that the resurrection that Eastertide celebrates was not simply a one-off. As members of his Mystical Body, Christ’s faithful receive him so as to refract him, here and now. In every Holy Mass, the Son’s sacrifice continues, and reunited Body and Blood continue to rise in the hearts of his faithful. In every prayer to the Father, Christ’s voice is yet again lifted to heaven; in every confession of sins, Christ’s words of absolution revivify the shriven.

He came back from the long journey through death, to give us his Risen Life to be our life, so that no matter what suffering we meet, we can meet it with the whole power of the love that has overcome the world (Caryll Houselander, The Risen Christ).

The world must continually be overcome. Death must still be defeated, and through the timelessness of Christ’s Church, he continues to make his life-giving mysteries available to those lowly enough to know they need them.

We belong to his Body. We are his Body. This is the Good News, as Christ not only gives us something, he gives us himself.

May the fullness of paschal joy be yours. May you entrust the Lord with those places of your soul and psyche that still cry out to be loved. And may you know our sweet Lord’s resurrected love in each Holy Communion.

Know of my Masses for you and your intentions.

In the Risen Christ,
Fr. David Meconi, S.J.

Fr. David Vincent Meconi, SJ About Fr. David Vincent Meconi, SJ

Fr. David Meconi, SJ is professor of patristic theology at St. Louis University and editor of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review (HPR). Fr. Meconi would like you to know that he offers Mass each month for readers of HPR; please be assured of his prayers for you.

Comments

  1. I am moved to read that you offer prayers for your readers: thank you so much for that gift!

  2. Thank You, Father Meconi for this food for meditation.I am grad of Fairfield Prep and Univ (1952, 1956). 20 yrs ago Lloyd Roach and I founded St. Max Kolbe radio net, which meets every Sunday Nite. I was an earnest member of Sodality, KBS and have the strong Marian Devotion characteristic of those happy days.Please check and invite any licensed hams you may know to join us. Ted Figlock MD Vietnam Combat Vet, MACV Tm 95 Bien Hoa.

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