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Easter Sunday

In Christ’s resurrection the world arose. In Christ’s resurrection, the heavens arose, in Christ’s resurrection the earth itself arose.” (St. Ambrose, De excessu fractris sui, bk. 1)

Karl Rahner writes that the power of the resurrection is flourishing as the secret center of all things as the world is being transformed slowly from within. The resurrection is present  in “all tears and in all death as hidden rejoicing and as the life which triumphs by appearing to die.” The resurrection is in the powerlessness which is God’s power alone. It is present in the midst of sin and violence as mercy, forgiveness, and patience. The risen Christ “is with us like the light of day and the air which we do not notice. . . . He is there, the heart of this earthly world. . . . and its innermost mystery. . . . ”[1]

What does it mean that the resurrection is present as the “secret center of all things as the world is transformed slowly from within?” Can this Easter proclamation be believed?

In the Congo, an elderly woman whose only grandson was abducted by the rebels heard Angelina Atyam[2] talk about extending forgiveness to the rebels. She heard her speak of Kony and rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) as members of “her people.” In disbelief, she asked, “Angelina, are you from another planet?”[3]

Angelina Atyam, Sr. Rachele Fassera, Maggy Barankitse[4] and all those like them, are not from a different planet. These women are midwives to a new community that transcends all divisions and breaks the cycle of retaliation. They reveal the quiet power of the resurrection working from deep within the world as the “secret center” of all things. These women might seem as if they are “from another planet.” But, seen with the eyes of faith, they manifest that which is most real and most true—Christ alive and present.

Faith our outward sense befriending,
Makes the inward vision clear.[5]

In Christ, we too are called to love as creatively and imaginatively as ambulance drivers weaving through traffic in an African city—and to provide the support we can to those who are on the front lines.[6] Easter celebrates a love that faces all obstacles to burst forth into the world in unimaginable ways through us. Even if the only “ambulance” we can drive is our prayer.

[1] Karl Rahner. The Great Church Year: The Best of Karl Rahner’s Homilies, Sermons and Meditations, (NY: Crossroad, 1993), 194.

[2] See Good Friday Reflection.

[3] Emmanuel Katongole, The Journey of Reconciliation: Groaning for a New Creation in Africa, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2017), 31.

[4] See Holy Thursday and Good Friday Reflections.

[5] Pange Lingua, Holy Thursday Liturgy.

[6] See Holy Thursday Reflection.

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