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Reform Magazine | April 27, 2017

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A String of Empty Tombs

A String of Empty Tombs

Resurrection is for life, not just for Easter, says Ronald Rolheiser

Spring and Easter: a conspiracy between nature and religion, creation and redemption, to make newness, to thaw things out, to rejuvenate and re-virginise, to make sunshine, to warm frozen places and to produce new buds on the trees and new enthusiasm in the heart! It’s the season of the Resurrection. At the end of winter, sometime after the first equinox, God is hard at it, melting earth and melting hearts.

We celebrate many things with Easter. The Resurrection is not just the mystery of Christ rising from the dead and of our future rising from the dead. It’s life’s spring – the event and power that brings new life out of what’s been crucified by winter, from what’s died, from what lies frozen and lifeless. Like nature needs spring each year, so, too, we need regular resurrections. Much in us lies frozen, crucified, lifeless. It is possible to be dead and not know it, to be asleep and still think we are awake, to be bitter as a slave and still think we are loving.

Physical death, for most of us, comes last. First, there is the long series of other deaths, of crucifixions, of diminishments and losses. In this, too, we follow the pattern of what happened in Christ…

Ronald Rolheiser is President of the Oblate School of Theology in Texas. This article is one of 40 reflections for Lent in his new book The Passion and the Cross (Hodder & Stoughton, 2016, £9.99)

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This is an extract from the March 2016 edition of Reform.

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