I love Spring, the air, the flowers, the sunshine. Everything and everyone seem to be coming alive! It is also an important time in my Catholic tradition with the celebration of Easter. Even if you don’t follow the Christian tradition, there are wonderful lessons to learn from this holiday, lessons that we see repeated in many other faiths and philosophies.
What Easter Is to Me:
The paschal mystery that is commemorated during Holy Week (the week preceding Easter), reminds us that life contains suffering, death, and resurrection. Every life has challenges, difficulties and pain and no one is immune from this human condition. Yet we all have access to redemption and resurrection. To me, Jesus’ suffering and death teaches us that redemption and resurrection await after all the deaths we experience… death of loved ones, death of hopes, dreams, plans, expectations. If we allow ourselves to grieve our “deaths” but then let go of the past, a new reality can emerge to bring a new spirit. We can leave our “tomb” behind, redeem our pain and embrace a new life. The seed is buried, so that a flower can emerge in its place.
What Easter Can Be for Anyone:
I remember Wayne Dyer once saying something like, “whatever happens to you in your life is your curriculum.” We have a choice about what to take out of our experiences in life. Do I allow my present life to redeem my past experiences? Do the challenges diminish, or enlarge me? Do the difficulties embitter me or make me better? Does the pain prompt me to rage or to become compassionate to others in pain? How we live the life we are given determines our experience. In other words, whatever each of us experiences in our lifetime can become our teacher, to redeem and bring us to a new life. For me, Easter is the mystery of embracing trials and suffering, letting go of deaths to discover redemption and resurrection. Complaining of unfairness, staying angry or seeking revenge keeps me nailed to my own cross. Praying to both grieve and learn from the past can help redeem my pain. Gratitude and forgiveness will allow me to leave the tomb and experience a rebirth to a new and better life.
This is why we celebrate at Easter. We remember that Jesus has risen, and we can too! Rise above the crosses in your life, live a life of light!