In the Resurrection accounts, Jesus’ friends often need time in order to recognize him. Mary Magdalene initially thinks he is the gardener as she sits near the tomb, mourning. Did she not recognize Jesus because she assumed he was dead, and his Resurrection did not fit into her expectations? Only when he calls her by name does she recognize him. The disciples on the road to Emmaus initially dismiss Jesus as someone who is ignorant […]

Christ Has Risen!

In this Easter season, Christ has risen in our churches, homes, communities, and workplaces. All of creation is illuminated by the new dawn brightening behind the Risen Lord, bringing his triumph into our lives. Please enjoy this imaginative prayer exercise for Easter based on Piero della Francesca’s 15th-century fresco of The Resurrection. Blessings on you, your family, and your faith community during this Easter season.

This Is Your Easter, Thomas

The moniker “doubting Thomas” has always bothered me. Thomas did, after all, have great faith, enough faith to give up everything he knew—family, friends, homeland, and career—to follow Jesus. Yet we remember him for one fleeting moment of very understandable hesitation. In fact, I wonder how different his reaction to hearing the news that Jesus was alive might have been from my own? When I place myself in prayer next to Thomas in the Gospel […]

Four Ways to Receive Joy

Easter is a 50-day-long season of celebration. As Christians, we often undertake Lenten practices but often do not undertake Easter practices past the first day of Easter. One reason may be that joy, peace, and other consolations are gifts from God. They mostly do not depend on an act of our own will. I often think of joy as the flower that blossoms when the plant of love has been well-tended. How, then, can we […]

Four Things to Remember if Life Doesn’t Have You in Easter Season

Our lives do not always align with the liturgical seasons. Easter season is upon us, but life might have us in Lent. Perhaps we are living a Good Friday moment or we are still in the tomb, waiting in hope for our Easter moment to arrive. What can we do when our lives are not congruent with the Easter season we are celebrating? Having lived “off-season” many times before, here are four things I find […]

Waking Up to the Risen Jesus

This story is inspired by the first contemplation in the Fourth Week of the Spiritual Exercises, the apparition of Christ to Mary (#218). Do you know that semiconscious state as you begin to awaken, when it’s possible to believe you’re still dreaming? That’s how I awoke the morning of my son’s Resurrection. I felt my Jeshua gently stroking my hair. I smiled and looked into his sweet face. Such a loving son! He was sitting […]

Encountering the Risen Christ

James Hanvey, SJ, writes in Thinking Faith that we can “Let him Easter in us” by exploring what the Gospels say about the appearances of the risen Christ. One of the lessons involves the quietness in the accounts: Like all those who encounter the risen Christ, it takes us time to adjust, to come into focus. You will notice that it is the risen Christ who comes to us, not we who can summon him. […]

Easter That’s More Than a Day

We have spent weeks doing Lent. Is it possible that we can spend even one week doing Easter? Can we remember that there is such a thing as the season of Easter, the Great Fifty Days that lead us all the way to Pentecost? I’m going to try to focus on E-A-S-T-E-R, in various ways for as much of this season as I can effectively. Christians are supposed to be an Easter people—yet we tend […]

Our Road to Emmaus

This post is based on Week Eight of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Like many of us today, the disciples on the road to Emmaus were at a loss and in despair over a world seemingly gone mad, seeing the foundational principles of the world around them being shaken and living in fear for their own lives. The horror and shock of the Crucifixion had overwhelmed all hope and threatened the teachings of love and compassion […]

Recognizing the Risen Lord

Mary Magdalene stands at the empty tomb: how could she not weep, filling the well of her sorrow that capped her grief over the last three days? She notices a figure nearby, someone she can hardly see through her tired and streaming eyes. Humbly she pleads with him to be shown where the precious body of her Lord has been taken. As this stranger speaks her name, she is wild with the joy of recognition: […]

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