Easter Week – Remembering Triduum backwards… 1
Easter Sunday: In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius had the retreatant repeat this or that contemplation in order to deepen the experience of knowing, loving, and serving Jesus Christ. In a similar way, those baptized, confirmed, and who shared in the Eucharist for the first time at the Easter Vigil now seek to deepen their experience of Christ in their lives by reviewing the liturgies of Holy Week.
Let’s do this backwards, starting with John’s gospel on Easter Sunday. What surprised me greatly was the frequent repetition of “tomb.”
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
I propose that, since, the Greek, mnemeion, means “memorial, place of remembering…”
- Eastertide involves, first, us remembering the empty tomb and the messengers who told of Jesus’ resurrection.
- And, second, us remembering how you and I are still entombed in the place of pain & woundedness (Gerasene demoniac who hid out in the tombs), hiding, and idolatry.
- Isaiah 65:2–4 I held out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices; a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and offering incense on bricks; who sit inside tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat swine’s flesh, with broth of abominable things in their vessels;
- In this place, we get to remember Jesus’ rising. He stepped into the light. Have we the courage to ask for the willingness to step out of the security of the tomb into the Light of Christ?
- Eastertide, then, becomes an exploration of the audacity of Christ’s resurrection and his invitation for us to step into the Light.