By Sister Carolyn McWatters
These days, in the northern hemisphere, we are offered a splendid visual metaphor for Jesus’ risen life which Easter celebrates. Our senses are engaged by the feel, the sight and the smells of breezes, sunlight, baby animals and the gorgeous display of flowers and trees in bloom. Fresh, new life abounds, enlivening us with wonder and gratitude. Divinity is truly on display!
The event of Jesus’ resurrection electrified his followers, turning their worlds upside down and filling them with unbounded joy. They slowly moved from a state of grief, fear and foreboding to a freedom of spirit and a realization that life as they had known it would never be the same. The external world hadn’t changed at all, but their hearts and spirits underwent radical transformation.
They found themselves plunged into a new reality, the contours and shape of which would be profoundly sharpened and deepened over time. The disciples came to understand that they were held in the grip of a love so powerful that it transcended not just suffering, but death itself. Jesus’ life showed them who they were and who they could become. A new way of living opened up for them.
Energized by the resurrected presence of the Master, they were emboldened to be about, spreading the truth of the reign of Love to which his whole life gave witness.
The Risen Christ has shown that Life is unending, that Love is the most powerful force in the universe. And the personal news of the resurrection is that, because we are claimed by and for Christ, because we are members of the Body of which he is the head, our lives, too, can and must reveal this mystery. We are becoming divinized, and have the power that Jesus had to impact our world. We are called to do and be as Jesus did and was—to touch the world with his presence, his power, his promise.
Brothers and sisters, if then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God…you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”(Col 3: 2-3)
Your life is hidden with Christ in God. There is a magnetism in this phrase for me. Those of us who have been living discipleship for decades can testify to the effect that resurrected life has had on us. The exuberance of our initial fervor has likely been tempered somewhat, and a quieter, deeper stream of joy flows through our souls. We have become acquainted with the struggles and the treasures of darkness and hiddenness. Our egos have learned about dying, and perhaps we have grown to accept, even long for, the “no-thingness” of which the mystics spoke—that for which the embrace of the life of the Spirit destines us.
Surrender to the Divine is a journey of transformation into Christ. Like the Baptizer, we acknowledge that we must more and more decrease as Christ increases. Like Paul, we each seek to live, “not I, but Christ in me.” The hidden life beckons…
This process is clearly not for our own glorification. We do what we do solely through the power of God’s grace within, in order that God may receive the glory. God’s grace is slowly burning away the dross and polishing us into women of beauty who powerfully and humbly reveal Holy Mystery, that through us divinity might continue to be on display, for the transformation of the world.
Caress us, enfold us, embrace us, O God.
Erase our boundaries
that we may be dissolved in you.
Make us ONE with you
and all you have created.
Infuse us with your life,
and shine through us your radiant love
…all for the Life of the world.
A Blessed Easter to all!