Today, we welcome the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation Leader, Sr Catherine Reuter, to share an Easter reflection:
So much of life is lived as one event after another. A birthday, wedding, Anzac Day, an anniversary or Mothers’ Day. There is perhaps a baptism or funeral to attend or maybe a concert, ballet, symphony or football game to enjoy, or a meeting, forum or rally to focus on. Each year brings its round of special occasions. We can anticipate and over-expect and then pick apart all the ways such events did or didn’t live up to our expectations. And then we can choose the next event and do it all over again.
But the Church’s liturgical calendar isn’t so much about events. It’s about seasons. If we’re willing to lean into the Church’s calendar in new ways, we could find that there are whole seasons on which we’ve been missing out. In The Liturgical Year 2009, Joan Chittister reflects on her knowledge of and deep love for the liturgical calendar and its seasons such as Advent, Christmastide, Lent and Easter. She explains that ‘every year is a distinct growth point in life, the shedding of another shell of life’. In this, the liturgy is alive because every time we interact with the calendar and its seasons it affects us differently because we are growing and we are different at each encounter.
Easter is such a time. Eastertide is a season: ‘the period of unmitigated joy, of total immersion in the implications of what it means to be a Christian, to live a Christian life … We come to know during these great fifty days not only who the risen Jesus is but who we are meant to be, as a result.’
So bring on the liturgical seasons, those spiritual cycles with their distinctive growth points and ‘adventure in bringing the Christian life to fullness, the heart to alert, the soul to focus’. This Easter season, as we come to know more who Jesus is and who we are meant to be, let’s hold ‘ a sense there is more than one kind of life alone, more than one dimension of time, more than one purpose in life,’ for Jesus Christ is risen now.