Pastor’s Pen – March 31, 2013 | St. Ann Catholic Church | St. Louis, MO

It feels like winter…

It is hard to think about Easter after shoveling 13 inches of snow from the entrances to the church and rectory this morning. In a hemisphere where the arrival of spring is coterminous with the celebration of Easter, I miss the robins chirping and the crocuses pushing their way up through the earth. I miss the blue sky with its promise of warmth and the bright sun shining to bring light to grey skied days. It doesn’t ‘feel’ like Easter. It feels like winter.

For many people, often it doesn’t ‘feel’ like Easter, no matter the weather or the season. What they are pre-sent to is the loss of a loved one, the death of a spouse, the frailty of bodies that ache more and minds that remember less today than they did yester-day. There are many reasons in their world for it ‘not to feel like Easter.’

The women too, who made their way to the tomb that surprising morn, were not ‘expecting Easter’ either. It didn’t feel like spring or resurrection to them. It just felt like loss and death and the end of a dream that had inspired such hope in them. “God had been in their midst in the person of Jesus, and everything had changed.” There had been a reason to get up, a reason to dream big, and a purpose to their life – to make sure that everyone knew what they had come to know in Jesus. And now that dream was laying (they thought) stone cold dead in a tomb.

Yet, here is a truth about this greatest of all days and this greatest of all feasts. Easter is not dependent upon emotions. The resurrection happened, whether the women expected it or not. The resurrection happened whether the disciples believed the women’s account or not. Jesus appeared to them despite the locked doors, despite having barricaded the world without from their grief within. No barrier, no pain or loss or doubt would stop the Risen One from touching their lives anew with the promise of LIFE and life to the full. “Peace be with you. See my hands and my side. Do not doubt, but believe.” Death, winter, pain, loss – none of these will stop the Risen One from breaking into our lives.

Perhaps it does not ‘feel’ like Easter this year. That’s okay. It doesn’t have to. All that is needed are hearts willing to trust in a promise from beyond the grave. Winter does end. Pain is not ultimate. Life triumphs. Jesus has risen. Let us rejoice and be glad…