Easter Is A Verb

April 5, 2015 at 6:36 am

Happy Resurrection Day.  I recently read in an Indian newspaper that the word Easter was the name of a pagan festival  that was baptized by the early Christians and turned into a Christian celebration.   The author may be waging a one-person campaign to change this day’s name to Resurrection Day.

Kathleen and I went to Mass this morning and discovered that the congregation was only a quarter to  a third of its normal size.  Most Indians go to the Easter vigil Mass on Saturday evening.  In line with India’s culture of functioning chaos,  there were no scheduled lectors, Eucharistic ministers, or ushers.  Soon after I was seated, a gentleman asked me if I would be willing to the read the first reading and responsorial psalm.  It was a blessing to read and to look out at my Indian brothers and sisters as they listened carefully to Peter’s proclamation in the Acts of the Apostles that  “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.”

Fr Packiaraj began his homily with this phrase and described Jesus as the finger of God.  He then also emphasized how we too are anointed.  Christ is alive in us and in our world.  He quoted a verse from  a fellow Jesuit who wrote poetry in the late 19th century, Gerard Manley Hopkins :  “Let him easter in us , be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east…”   As yeast leavens dough,  may Jesus eastering within us cause us to be transformed so that we may be the loving and forgiving presence of God for others.

Easter Blessings