A New Day

I was at the beach recently for a long weekend and on the final morning I was there, after a rather restless night of sleep, I got up to go out and watch the sunrise.  There is something special about the sunrise over the ocean.  With the sound of the waves rolling onto the shore, a cool breeze in the air, and a cup of hot coffee in hand, there I sat seeing the beginnings of light on the horizon.  There is something about that scene that calls for deep thoughts.  You can’t watch the atmosphere in the distance begin to display vibrant colors without realizing that you are witnessing more than a regular occurrence – this is something special.  And as those blues and reds turn to yellow and the first peak of the sun steps on the stage of the day, a clarity of insight dawns as the first rays of daylight pierce the morning.

That early Sunday morning brought similar deep thoughts as Jesus friends went to the tomb.  As the light of day peered in and found the tomb empty, the disciples whose world had been shattered by Jesus death had been given a new birth.  As God always does, the challenges of life are never the last word for people of faith.  To look in and see nothing, yet believe is the quintessential act of every Christian – to believe where nothing is seen.  These deep thoughts that began that day are ones which can bring the rays of Christ’s light to any corner of the world’s darkness, to any situation that seems eternally dead.

Too often we give power to the darkness of our lives.  We fail to appreciate the hope that has been given us in Christ’s resurrection.  We live as if the sun rises each day for someone else but me – it can’t touch my darkness, it can’t illuminate my gloom.  But if we are to celebrate with the disciples, then we must first be open to the reality that there exists no dimension of my world that is not renewed by the light of Christ’s new life.  There is no area of my ordinary existence that should not be viewed anew.  To celebrate Easter is to rethink it all with deep thoughts, to ponder what my life really means if death is not the final answer and Christ’s victory over death brings us all a promise of an eternal new day.

Some may find these deep thoughts too cerebral, which, if they only remain as thoughts, would be true.  But the celebration of Easter is not only to think anew, but to act anew.  We are, like the disciples that morning, first sent to spread the word – something most Christians are loathe to do.  We need to run quickly to anyone who will listen, and even to those who won’t, and proclaim the resurrection.  It is in the proclamation that our lives change.  How can we in one breath shout that death is no longer the victor, and in the next give in to actions that would evidence otherwise?  But the proclamation of the Good News does something else – it spreads the goodness.  Like the horizon that welcomes the dawn  by opening itself to those colorful rays of light, so too our sharing the message of faith in Christ with others  dispels darkness in the tombs of the living dead who often walk around us, even in our own homes.

It’s a great day.  It’s a new day.  Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.  See the light of his rising all around you, day and night.  Happy Easter!

Peace,

Fr. Mike
fr.mike@duke.edu  c. 919-316-8763 / w. 919-684-1882
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