Easter new life: What does it look like?

Resurrection cannot be confined to theological concepts — it is a matter of the heart. (Artwork: Stained glass from Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Santa Barbara.) — Credit: MIKE NELSON

Volumes have been written about the theological significance of the Resurrection event, but Resurrection cannot be confined to theological concepts — it is a matter of the heart. The heart recognizes a deeper truth waiting to be taken into our lives.

As we read the story of the Resurrection appearances in the Gospels, we notice a significant point of theology that is repeated with each Evangelist: Each appearance involves a very normal human interaction which plays itself out in the general meaning of the Resurrection.

Often, however, we can miss this whole communication because we have become so jaded by the specific words in Scripture. Like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, we need to open our eyes and see anew the wisdom of understanding Scripture as metaphor. 

I invite you to read and meditate on the Resurrection stories for your Easter reflections and notice how often Christ is recognized in real human activities. Here is a list to get you started:

—The sharing of peace (Matthew 28:9).

—The removing of fear (Matthew 28:10).

—The empowering of others (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18).

—Calling by name (John 20:16).

—The breaking of bread (Luke 24:30-31).

—Walking and talking (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:15).

—Eating (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:42).

—Showing and touching of wounds (Luke 24:39-40; John 20:25-28).

—Blessing (Luke 24:50-51).

—Reading the Scriptures (Luke 24:45-47).

—Giving/receiving the Spirit (John 20:22).

—Forgiving others (John 20:23).

—Cooking/serving (John 21:9-10).

—Catching fish (John 21:6-7).

—Teaching (Luke 24:25-27).

—Directing (John 21:15-19).

—Sending forth (John 20:17).

From my perspective, this list is showing us that the Resurrected Christ is recognized in the ordinary human activities of our lives. As we focus our hearts and minds on Christ, the Spirit of the Resurrected One will flow through our daily activities in life-giving ways.

I invite you to recognize this flow in your own daily routine and encounters, experiencing the Resurrection even now. Those rare moments of insight or “ah-hah” experiences are the moments when the soul recognizes this divine/human connection.

John, Thomas, Peter, Mary Magdalen and the others experienced unique breakthrough moments in their encounters with the resurrected Christ. These moments were theirs, yes, but they are also ours. 

Father Jim Clarke is chair of the archdiocesan Spirituality Commission and director of spiritual formation at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo.


Voices

Jean Beliveau, RIP

REV. RONALD ROLHEISER, OMI

Jean Beliveau was more than an athlete, though certainly he was a one-in-a-million athlete. The record of his achievements almost defies belief. He played in the National Hockey League for 20 seasons and retired with 10 championship rings. 

 

Retirement Fund for Religious

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December 20, 2014

  • Saturday, December 20

    St. Margaret's Center Christmas Program, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Morningside High School (Cafeteria), 10500 S. Yukon Ave, Inglewood. St. Margaret's Center, Inglewood School District, Doorking, Inc., and Centinela Hospital Medical Staff invite you to join them as they create a holiday wonderland with Christmas surprises for more than 1,000 poverty-level children and their parents. (310) 672-2208. Click here for more information.

    Christmas Shop at Holy Grounds, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Monica Catholic Community, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 566-1500.

    Dancing Festival of Lessons and Carols, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Holy Spirit Retreat House, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino. A concert by Valyermo Dancers & Co., choreographed by John West. $15. Contact Sr. Deborah for more info, (818) 784-4515.

    Christmas Dinner Dance, 6 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 21433 Strathern St, Canoga Park. Tickets, $28. (818) 371-0473.

    Las Posadas, 7 p.m., Parish Hall, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 600 W Mariposa St, Altadena. Posadas means “the inns” or “the shelters” in Spanish. A religious and social celebration, Las Posadas commemorates Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter prior to the birth of Christ. We invite you to join us in a one-day celebration of this tradition. (626) 794-2046.

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