Easter: the Sacred Feast of Openness
Michael is a bubbly three-year-old. He is equally excited by a birthday toy that brightly blinks, loudly whistles, and noisily spins or by the tiny intricate details of raindrops and snowflakes. Michael is easily fascinated and effortlessly open to enjoying the big and small things he finds in the world surrounding him.
Easter is about being open. Didn't Easter begin at dawn’s light with three women walking to Jesus’ tomb and finding the stone rolled away? Didn’t the angel encourage the women not to fear but be open to what they see and then go tell the others that Jesus had indeed risen exactly as “he foretold?”
Open to what they see and hear, the women believe and joyfully run to tell all those who will listen. “Jesus is alive. Come and See!” Thomas the Apostle is not open. He does not see. He is reluctant standing adamant and closed.
As a result, Thomas misses this glorious experience. Giving Thomas another chance, Jesus returns and asks Thomas to place his hands over his wounds and come close to touch him. It is then that Thomas believes.
Too often today’s followers of Jesus lack openness. We miss the tiny details of life like snowflakes and the crystal-like sparkles in raindrops. We see them only as annoyances. All of life around us is a hodge-podge of shrieking whistles and blinking lights. Jesus encourages us to be open and look for him in all our life experiences and then share him with others.
He asks us not to be closed, because if we are, we may miss his passing before us. Growth cannot happen if we cling to what we think is “there.” If we do, we will surely miss seeing what is there.
Jesus asks us to be open to all peoples no matter who they are, where they live, or how they pray. Jesus walks this earth in all kinds of people and places.
This Easter keep his tomb empty and seek Jesus where he may be found – among the living who live near us!
St. Francis de Sales invites us to be open:
The gesture of the saint with his glass of cold water for the thirsty traveler may be small. Yet it is so pure in intention and perfect in kindness and love that this simple act becomes a spring of living water which brings everlasting life.
For Francis this is an Easter moment – and it can be for us too!