EASTER: A COSMIC JOURNEY

Posted by Barbara Stapleton

Easter is here; the great cosmic feast of the Christian calendar. What do we mean by that word ‘cosmic’? One way of looking at it is to see this creation we live in as part of a whole which contains us and the universe and the divine Creator – who we may call God or some other name.

When we unite our small sense of self to the larger I AM of God we are also in tune with the energy and mystery of all that is created. That includes nature and the universe in which we exist.

The rising of the full moon on Holy Thursday evening reminds us of the waxing and waning times in our lives; times when we are full of joy and times when that joy and enthusiasm seems to die or be hidden waiting to be renewed again. It reflects Jesus’ journey from the crowds acclaiming him, and then his rejection, humiliation and cruel death. It reflects his breakthrough to a new dimension of consciousness and life because he chose love over hatred of his persecuters. A rising to a new life which is there for all of us like:

a chicken breaking through the shell of an egg.

a pupae in its cocoon breaking through its container and spreading the wings that have been forming in the darkness.

a tiny seed in the earth, dying, but at the same time sprouting up towards sky and sun.

On the Holy Saturday Vigil we sit in darkness, then light the new fire and watch it gradually fill the place with light. We bless water and time knowing that though we experience them in everyday living, they have a mysterious cosmic dimension (not divine) because they are part of our divine creation.

On Easter morning many people gather together at dawn to watch the sun rise in memory of Mary Magdalen’s meeting with the risen Jesus in the garden near Gethsemane.

The moon, light and darkness, sun and water and fire, bread and wine and Time – we are so used to them in our daily living but they take on their cosmic dimension when we recall that ‘In You we live and move and have our being.’

When we read those words of St. Paul we recognise that our small self, the limited scope of our conscious experience, is harnessed to a larger Wisdom in our soul, in the universe and in God. Everything belongs.

At the close of Easter perhaps the earth which is suffering so much from our pollution may be renewed with us as we pray at the Easter Vigil –

Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth.

Rejoice O earth in shining splendour.

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