Reflection for Easter Week 2024

Easter Greetings to you!

I am writing this in the Easter Octave as we extend the celebration of Easter Day through a whole week, dwelling on the mysterious resurrection appearances that convinced the disciples that Jesus had conquered death. It has been particularly poignant for us with the recent death of Sr Mary Owen and with Sr Mary John growing steadily weaker with terminal cancer. I know also that many of you face health and other challenges that will have formed your backdrop to the Paschal mystery.

At times like these we turn to Christ who faced the worst that life could throw at him yet came through victorious. He was betrayed and deserted by his friends as the religious and political powers of his day turned on him to destroy what threatened their power. He was lifted up, crucified between heaven and earth, offering up his life for us in the battle between good and evil. As I ponder the cross I find insight in the derivation of the word ‘intercede’, from the Latin inter cedere, ‘to yield between’1. On the cross Jesus made the ultimate intercession for us as he yielded himself between heaven and earth, pinned to the cross.

We too are called to a work of intercession, of ‘yielding between’ the polarities of life, of accepting the pain and suffering that life brings whilst knowing that God’s love is in the midst of it. So often it is small daily steps of yielding to others, of setting aside our own comfort and convenience for the sake of another, that is the cross we must carry. When the big challenges come we are then more able to embrace them with a generous heart as bit by bit our ego is dismantled and we become transparent to God’s presence. For all of us it is a journey that ultimately ends in our bodily death when we are called to relinquish all and step over into the new life that is ours in Christ.

As we journey through Eastertide, living out the Paschal mystery in our own lives I pray that it will take each one of us deeper into God’s love within whatever circumstances we face. As Jesus died he gave up his Spirit to the infant church and that same Spirit now empowers us to embrace the joy of the abundant life to which we are called.

1Helen Luke, ‘Old Age: Journey Into Simplicity’, Parabola Books, pg 79

Mother Anne - 4th April 2024