Remembering Easter Sunrise Services we celebrated years ago, my husband and I decided to have our own sunrise prayer time before going to Mass later. From the family room, we looked out over the lake with no visible sunrise. Just dark clouds with a little glow of light behind them.
As we prayed the morning prayer from the Magnificat, the sky got ever darker. Our prayers were interrupted by a telephone call from the emergency services warning us of coming thunderstorms and hail.
God surprises us
The wind blew the darkest clouds towards us from across the lake where some of my friends were celebrating Protestant Sunrise Services. Then the rain came with a vengeance. I visualized them scurrying to the safety of covered pavilions, shops and cars. As we cooked breakfast, light hail danced outside on our patio.The storm didn’t last long.
Our God is full of surprises. His ways are not our ways. This storm was more like the first Good Friday than the first Easter. Will we ever learn not to depend on our plans or our vision of a special time such as Easter morning?
It’s not the weather that makes Easter the most glorious day of the year. It’s not the new clothes, the hidden eggs, the honey hams and festive turkeys. But the joy in our hearts as we celebrate Mass in a church decked in glorious flowers instead of the purple veils.
As the priest elevates the host and wine at the consecration, we are raised up as part of humanity that Jesus sanctified through his incarnation. He redeemed all of us through his passion and death. He changed human nature forever by clothing it with his divine nature.
The Easter joy in our hearts is not only celebrating our personal victories during Lent, completing our own way of the Cross, but our divine calling to be victorious over death as he was.
He is risen in our hearts! Jesus has risen indeed!
(© 2014, revised 2017 Nancy H C Ward)