SPIRITUALITY

EASTER MORN

Easter morning, 2021 darkness fast retreating,
I woke up early and waited to catch the sunrise
that dawning of light of hope and renewed life
Yet a cloudy blanket was spread across the horizon
muting already the splendidly composed purplish-pink prelude
threatening, too, to keep veiled that ever spectacular sight
that burst of brilliant fiery hues rising slowly but surely
from the Eastern horizon, announcing the dawn.
The ominous clouds lingered no glow, no rising sun in sight.
High above across the sky a witness, the waning moon,
the third quarter moon, white-robed, alone witnessed and witnessed to
the rising of the sun: truly the sun is risen!


That first Easter morn once darkness pushed back
the mourning women set out in haste to visit
the tomb of their Beloved
His body they saw not only white-robe messengers
announcing glad tidings witnessing that He is risen
truly He has risen, as He had said.
Indeed the Son has risen! Truly the sun had risen
moments later appearing without pomp or prelude
golden-rayed, radiant as ever.


I did not catch the sunrise early Easter morning, 2021
Sunrises cannot be caught as if to possess as one’s own
—“Noli me tangere”— but only welcomed enjoyed anew each day
that with gladdened and hope-filled hearts,
thankful for the Dawn, whether veiled or unveiled
to go forth rejoicing, announcing: Alleluia! Truly the Son is risen!

Anne Frances Ai Le, OP

Road to Emmaus – ”HAD”


Have we been “had,”taken for a ride, sold a bill of goods?Wouldn’t a good God be better than this, besting disease and death? How many days is it now? We’ve lost count. Countless lives lost counting for more and not less and still the daze drag on, This dragon slaying life’s good and better And best We “had” hoped But Hope now is as empty As a tomb A grave Six feet deep distancing glove’s embrace, leaves embers, and remembers what Hope had been.
A stranger speaks, One who is no stranger To death and disease His “dei” counts for all What “dei” is this, you say? This is the “dei” the Lord has made Rejoice and be glad! I had been “had,” taken for a ride on a foal, for thirty pieces of silver sold. Why this way?Why cross-way,  cross wise? Wise prophets foretold something like this “dei” But none could predict this “dei” like no other asking all from one and no other. This “Had” held me fast past, over at last breath, perfect in its surrender, tender love unseen, yet so onto be seen. God’s “dei” slaying death’s dragon once and for all.
But this day, how hope?In the blessing, You say In the breaking You stay In the giving Your “dei” Now, of necessity, bread becomes body, embers remember, fire-breathing life into hope that “had”been, has been, is and always will be. This is the “dei” the Lord has made. Rejoice and be “had.”

Robert VerEecke, SJ

Jesus’ Apparition to his Mother

To Her First
The other women asked me to go with them to the tomb that morning to
prepare his body for burial, but how could I anoint for burial the one who was destined to rise again? And so, I stayed behind in the home where I was
staying.
I was grateful to be alone, for the cruelty of the mobs and soldiers that
had surrounded me during his suffering had left me traumatized, unable to
think or feel. I was numb with pain and found no comfort in the room except for the first sliver of light from the sunrise yet to come, that shone into my darkness.
I allowed myself to remember, his life was again before me: images of an
infant so beautiful to behold, his first steps, faltering but still so firmly planted in front of our home in Nazareth. The, growing up-so suddenly it seemed- at 12 years of age, and staying behind so many Passovers ago. I knew then that this would be no ordinary child, and I vowed not to cling to him or distract him from his mission.
But in letting go of Jesus, I had never imagined that it would be for such
an unspeakable and horrific end. I could not help myself: I finally broke down and wept. And through my tears, I crumbled up in a ball on the floor and railed at the God who let this happen. Why? Was it for this that you asked me to bear this child?
As I watched him suffer, my heart broke a thousand times over. My
heart was so raw and shredded with sorrow. I thought I would never
experience peace again. But as I continued to weep, I was flooded with a
warmth and a sweetness that suffused my being like the summer breezes off the Sea of Galilee, and moments later, the rays of the sun rising flooded the room.
I let my soul absorb the warmth and light of dawn. My ears heard the movement of someone entering the room, and I slowly got up as I thought
John or one of the women had come back for me. It was then that I heard a
voice, unmistakably his own, “Mother, behold your Son, I am here. I am risen, as I said.”
I turned around, afraid to trust this voice, but it was his, and there he
stood before me. His eyes were brighter than the rising sun and the tenderest of smiles was spreading across his face as he pulled me into an embrace. I allowed myself to fall into his body, maybe out of shock, but as I felt the strength of his arms, and listened to the beating of his heart, I realized: He lives! The intimate joy of this moment was now as real as the horror of Friday had been.
We stayed like this for a long time, talking softly. There was so much to
say. But then, just as he would have done when he still lived with us, he let me go and said, “I must go and tell the others now, but we will meet again soon and break bread together then.”
“My beloved son,” I said, “I will be here for you when you come”. With
peace, I let him go forth, for the joy of Jesus alive in our midst was meant to be shared with each of his companions. He is risen for me, but also for all of them, and for you.
How will you welcome the risen one alive in your midst? What words of
consolation does Jesus wish to speak to you now?
Kathy Maher