Easter Weekend Reflections

The Easter weekend begins with the last supper, which took place during the Jewish Passover festival. At traditional passover meals the evening begins with the lighting of the candles, and a ritual prayer of bringing in the light. The Hebrew prayer can be translated into English as: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation who invites us into wholeness of being, and who shines your light into our hearts.

So I invite you to have a candle ready, and after the video introduction we will pray this prayer together as a way of opening our hearts and inviting the light of God's Spirit to bring fresh insight and clarity during this Easter journey. Using your candle and any other symbols you would like to include, you could create a sacred space that you can return to through the weekend for these times of reading and prayer.

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Below and on the next few web pages you will see an outline with readings for us to reflect on at various times during this Easter weekend, together with songs and questions for reflection. I suggest that we do these readings in a reflective way, allowing times of silence before and after each reading so that we can sink deeply into the readings and reflections, allowing the Spirit to touch and stir us from within.

If you would like to read some tools for approaches to scripture reading, you can find them by clicking the links below:

I also encourage you to build in a time of centering prayer or meditation at the start of each session, as a way of bringing our intention to opening our hearts in quiet surrender to God's presence and action within us during this Easter vigil. Here is a link to a brief set of guidelines on Centering Prayer offered by Fr Thomas Keating.

For those who are interested in hearing about alternative theologies on the atonement, here are some links: 

Preparatory Reading

I want to share this poem by Rumi, which strikes me as a helpful reading to come back to through this Easter weekend, as a framing of the journey that we are invited into:

Love is Reckless

 

Love is reckless; not reason.

Reason seeks a profit.

Love comes on strong, consuming herself, unabashed.

 

Yet, in the midst of suffering,

Love proceeds like a millstone,

hard surfaced and straightforward.

 

Having died to self-interest,

she risks everything and asks for nothing.

Love gambles away every gift God bestows.

 

Without cause God gave us Being;

without cause, give it back again.

Gambling yourself away is beyond any religion.

 

Religion seeks grace and favour,

but those who gamble these away are God's favourites,

for they neither put God to the test

nor knock at the door of gain and loss.

Below are the other readings that were quoted in the introduction for further reflection:

Pema Chodron:

We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”

As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don't deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.”

Ilie Cioara:

"To everything that comes from inside, as well as outside, as turbulent reactions, as imaginary forms, just be relaxed – watch, listen; ... Neither past, nor future. With a lucid Attention, you encounter Truth. ... This direct contact brings perfect quietude. ... Always attentive, without any purpose, we just watch and listen. 

Calm comes on its own accord – we are integrated into Eternity. ... We just listen and watch, with simplicity. This and nothing else!"

Fred Lamotte:

Let this exhalation be what pours

from the libation cup

offered by a dying warrior.

The triumph is surrender.

 

Let this inhalation be

the Beloved's sparkling kiss.

Welcome home, dear one!

Did no one tell you?

Your breath is the name of God.

Listen to this piece of music as you prayerfully open yourself to the mysterious, creative, unsettling and unpredictable work of Love: