I love Easter and not just because of yellow marshmallow Peeps. For Christians, Easter is a divinely joyful celebration of the greatest mystery of life: There’s no such thing as death. Because spring is full of dead things coming back to life, it’s the perfect spiritual time for a Son of God to suffer, die, rise from the dead, and appear to friends. Easter reveals that the body will suffer and die, but our spirit – who we are – lives forever. We can even appear to our friends. Happy Easter to us.
Given that the mystery of suffering touches everyone, I suspect we all know something already about rising from the dead, and the divine power of suffering to do great things in us.
Think of the times you suffered through a miserable experience and became a better person, and I bet you’ll find at least three ways that helped you rise from the dead. In all of my Easters, I found these:
1. Don’t Be Afraid
In the best and worst of times, ask for guidance. It saves time and energy and often a lifetime of misery. Dark nights of the soul beg for guidance, and we too – like the Risen Christ – have a hidden power we can call upon at any moment. Let yourself be led by the Holy Spirit within you. Ask for definite leads about what to do, then listen. You will get an answer. It may come as intuition; sometimes you may see external signs, so fear not. You are guided and provided for every step of the way.
2. Accept Everything as Holy (Just as it is)
Appearances are not reality. Nearly every success is built on failure, hindrances are friendly and obstacles stepping stones. Even crucifixions can turn into resurrections overnight. Everything serves to further when met with an attitude of acceptance. Accept everything as a holy, just as it is, and even the worst of times will bring out the best in you, including the ability to rise from the dead.
3. Rest in Peace
The Risen Christ leaves the gift of Peace and asks that our hearts not be troubled or afraid regardless of what happens. He breathed a Holy Spirit in us as a soulful reminder that we are never alone. Easter calls us to be at peace with whatever happens. Be calm amidst confusion and clarity will be revealed. It may be difficult, but you will understand. You too will be granted peace. That’s the promise of Easter.
The women weren’t hiding,
they refused to leave.
They were the first ones at the tomb:
the other Mary,
Karol Jackowski, Ph.D., became a nun in 1964. She's also been a college administrator, graduate of New York University, manager of a toy store, author of eight books, painter of religious folk art, and sister to everyone she meets. Please visit her website at KarolJackowski.com.