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 during 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.
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 hearingabout alternative theologies on the atonement, here are some links:
I want to share this reflection by Matt Licata, 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:
At some point, we will be asked to revision the ideas which have accompanied us to this moment in our lives. Even our most sacred beliefs can become encrusted over time, worn out symbols of a living reality that is no longer so alive. To bring the old ways into the vessel and heat them with the fire of our desire, vision, passion, and longing. One of the common ways that transformational work begins is through the operation of "solutio", where the solid and fixed material of our lives dissolves and returns to its original state, becoming raw material for transformation.
While we might romanticize this washing away, it comes with a certain devastation. It is not oriented in improving our lives, positive thinking, or what we would ordinarily think of as self-development, but is a required “darkening” we must go through so that we can begin our work anew, with fresh vision. In contemplating the various "solutio" moments of my own life, they were not times of peace, joy, and contentment, but of revolution where I wasn’t quite sure if I would make it through to the other side. In many ways, I did not, at least the “me” who was there at the start of the process.
If we do not engage consciously in the process of dissolution, as many have discovered, life will bring dissolution to us, by way of transition, change, and psychic upheaval of all kinds: the ending of a relationship we thought would last forever, a shift in our health, the loss of a job, an unexpected depression, the inability to find meaning. This disruption is a harbinger of wholeness but by nature the whole will always include the dark, not only transcend it.
Without the healing waters of dissolution, we remain stuck in habitual consciousness, unaware of and run by the unconscious lenses through which we engage self, others, and world.
Listen to this piece of music as you prayerfully open yourself to the mysterious, creative, unsettling and unpredictable work of Love: