Easter Here and Now

“This is no commemoration service in which we devoutly recall past events. Quite the contrary, we witness to the original event, more than witnesses—we are involved. We share in the death and share in the rising because our sins are involved.

“This is no replay of Calvary. We do not run it again each year at this holy season. There is but one death and rising. The events are transcendent, they ignore time, they are present in God’s eternal now. In that now we briefly share when we move onto the stage of these events. We are out of time. We taste eternity. Indeed we do so in every Eucharist. But, in this holy time, the Paschal Vigil, more profoundly, more dramatically.”

Fr. Matthew Kelty, OSCO, Gethsemani Homilies, Revised and Enlarged Edition (Trappist, KY: Cistercian Publications, 2010), p. 82.

As we continue with the fifty days of Easter, it is good to remember that every celebration of the Holy Eucharist is our participation in the Paschal mystery, i.e. the dying and rising of Christ understood in relation to God’s liberation of God’s ancient and beloved people. The events are a unity and they happen once and for all. And yet, like the triune mystery of God at their heart, they do not close in on themselves but open up to embrace us. Therefore, by celebrating them, we come to be directly involved. Indeed, in the epiclesis (the ritual invocation of the Spirit over the gifts and the people), the distinction between eternity and time breaks down, so that we are caught up into Christ’s one Great Offering of himself, the very same gift in which we were immersed once for all in Holy Baptism. Truly, in every celebration of the Eucharist, we are brought more fully into the mystery of Easter. We are plunged ever deeper into the mystery of Jesus Christ and brought “out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.”

The Rev. Bill Carroll now serves as rector of Emmanuel Parish, Shawnee in the Diocese of Oklahoma. His new parish blog is Emmanuel Shawnee Blog

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