For most people, Easter seems to come and go. Why does Easter last so long for us? Well, the great mystery of the Resurrection, of Christ’s appearance to his disciples, is so rich that it takes us a while to appreciate it. To really hear, read, or reflect, on the many appearance stories: to Mary Magdalene, to Peter, to Thomas, and so on, takes time. But there may be another reason for the long liturgical season: the dying and rising of Christ both mirrors and reveals patterns in our own lives.
Of course none of us die and rise from the dead like Jesus Christ, but in our lives, dying and rising is something that we’re all familiar with. Or should be. We are constantly being invited to let go of any old patterns, habits or ways of being that prevent us from following the voice of God in our lives. This is often called by spiritual writers “dying to self.” We have to let all of those old habits “die,” in order to hear Jesus call us to new life. For some people that might mean letting go of their pride, for others an excessive focus on their physical health, for others the overwhelming need to be right about everything. So dying and rising should be happening all the time for us. And in us. It’s a way for us to participate in the beautiful mystery of the Resurrection, during the Easter season, and every day. Happy Easter!