Easter Sunday Reflection

The Death-Resurrection Pattern

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Begin with listening to this wonderful flash mob performance of "Ode to Joy":

Reading: 

I invite you to spend some time reading part of the resurrection narrative from Mark's gospel.

Mark 16:1-7 

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Spend a while in quiet reflection, holding open the painful, difficult or contradictory parts of your life, and allow yourself to surrender these to the transformative presence of God.

End this time of prayer with listening to the following music.

Pass through my willJohn Michael Talbot
00:00 / 05:13

Lyrics:

Come my love, pass through my will
As through a window
Shine on my life as on a meadow
I, like the grass, to be consumed
By the rays of the sun
On a late summer's morning

Come my love, all through the night
I lay longing, eagerly to wait for love's union
Like dawn's flower awaits
for the wedding with the sun
Consummated in the light

Your light, my love, is stealing my heart
As a secret I'm left
Like a vanishing form that leaves no shadows
Exposed, naked, alone between
The heavens and the earth
Lifted high on the cross with the Savior

Oh life-giving tomb
Prepared through the night for dawn's dying
Like a womb, like the mansions of Heaven
Await the rebirth of a child, New Jerusalem
So come to my life, Light of Heaven

Come my love, pass through my will
As through a window
Shine on my life as on a meadow
I, like the grass to be washed
In the rays of the sun
On the late summer's morning

Poem for reflection:

Inside this new love, die.

 Your way begins on the other side.

Become the sky.

Take an axe to the prison wall.

Escape.

Walk out like someone suddenly born into colour.

Do it now.

 You’re covered with thick cloud.

Slide out the side.

 Die, and be quiet.

 Quietness is the surest sign that you’ve died.

Your old life was a frantic running from silence.

The speechless full moon comes out now.

~ Rumi

For further reflection:

Below are some of the quotes from the talk for further reflection.

Henri Nouwen:

Spiritual reading means not simply reading about spiritual things but also reading about spiritual things in a spiritual way. That requires a willingness not just to read but to be read, not just to master but to be mastered by words.

Richard Rohr:

I believe that the Mystery of the Cross is saying that the pattern of transformation unto God, the pattern that connects, the life that God offers us is always death transformed. The only pattern is the pattern of death and resurrection. We submit to it with trust because Jesus did. … Death and life are two sides of one coin, and you cannot have one without the other.

This is the perennial, eternal, constant transformative pattern. You cannot get away from it. It’s like a spiral: each time you make the surrender, each time you trust the dying, your faith is led to a deeper level. ...

I think this is Jesus’ big message: that there is something essential that you only know by dying—to who you think you are! You really don’t know what life is until you know what death is.

John 12:24-25:

Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

Cynthia Occelli:

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out, and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.

Matt Licata:

It’s important to slow down, fall to the earth and the mud and the womb, to hold the broken pieces near, and to grieve. To mourn not only the loss of health and life, but also the dream of the way we thought it was all going to turn out.

The rebirth part of the death-rebirth cycle [involves being] open to the possibility that this process of “falling apart” is not some great cosmic error or mistake we need to correct or repair, but an emissary of the archetype of wholeness, as we open to rebirth and what it is that will emerge from the ashes of dissolution.

It is love, of course, that will guide the reorganization and its unfolding. But it is love, too, that is the substance of the ashes, and also of the tears, the tears of grief and the tears of joy… the tears of the earth herself.”

End with listening to this piece of music from Handel's Messiah, I know that my Redeemer liveth:

I know that my Redeemer livethKarina Gauvin
00:00 / 06:04