This won’t be a long post – if your Holy Week has been anything like mine, you’ve spent the past four days either in church, heading to church, or falling in a heap after getting home from the church, and it’s all turning into a bit of a blur!
There is one thing, however, that I do remember clearly. In the homily he gave for the Easter vigil, the visiting bishop who said Mass for us began by saying, “Every great change in life begins with a form of death: the transition from childhood to adolescence involves casting aside the life of a child, as the beginning of adulthood requires us to leave behind adolescence and take on a new way of living. In order to be re-created, something of the old self must first die.”
My mind, of course, went straight to Leonie’s Longing. To leave religious life does indeed involve putting something to death – in many cases, it means the loss, whether temporary or permanent, of aspirations that had been cherished for years. And yet, a new life is being created for each of us out of the old one we once possessed.
Our Lord was called a fraud, a bringer of false hope – this deceiver said that He would rise again on the third day – and yet, He kept His promise. He returned. The battered, tortured body that had been sealed in a tomb rose, alive and glorious. Nothing, not even death, could hold power over Him.
Death – of a body, of a hope, or of the person we used to be – is not the end for those who follow Him, but the beginning of a new life. “Christ has risen,” the bishop said, “and so will we.”
May you rejoice in all the blessings of Easter!