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Lenten Reflections: Easter Sunday

April 5
Reflection by John Glynn, STM’11

John Glynn, STM'11, is a campus minister at Boston College where he oversees the wildly popular Kairos Retreats for BC undergraduates. John also serves as Resident Minister to undergrads in Ignacio and Rubenstein Halls, and is actively engaged with the Contemplative Leaders in Action program through The Jesuit Collaborative in Boston.

Christ is alive! 

I'm tempted to simply end this reflection on Easter with that.  After all, is there anything better than knowing Christ lives, that death is not the end, and that we belong in God's love rather than the cold isolation of the tomb?

But that's not why they pay us the figurative "big bucks" in Campus Ministry.

Just a couple of days ago we were remembering the Passion of Christ on Good Friday when Love was crucified by our sin. As a kid, I didn't really understand the harshness of this event – I struggled to understand why my friend Avery didn't want to share his Batman action figures, let alone the vast depth of emotional experience contained in the Passion narratives. The immensity of loneliness in being misunderstood, grief in being betrayed, physical agony in being tortured, humiliation in being mocked, and despair in feeling abandoned; my life contained virtually none of these experiences, or on such a miniscule scale that they're essentially apples and oranges. It's only with age and experience that I've begun to remotely understand the emotional story being told.

The Passion is a cacophony of emotion: the rage, fear, shock, guilt, and grief is almost deafening. And then….silence. The shattered body of Jesus unfastened from the cross and quietly placed in a grave.

Easter

The abrupt stillness of the tomb is astoundingly anticlimactic. In my imagination, Jesus' friends are naturally devastated by his death, but perhaps almost a little thankful for death's tranquility after seeing him so severely brutalized. Their beloved friend is dead, murdered at the hating hands of people he tried to teach to love – the movement is over, the light is extinguished.

And it's into this silence that God whispered His Word of Love. The stillness is broken, not with a great wind, or an earthquake, or a fire, but with a humble intake of breath. And we are forever changed.

Nearly every Easter celebration I've ever attended has started with a trumpet blast. Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia! But I invite us today to simply breathe, listen, and hear the whisper of God telling us Christ is alive. God's thirst for us overcomes all obstacles.

"Love is the whole and more than all."[1]

[1] e.e. cummings' poem, My Father Moved Through Dooms of Love

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