Easter Sunday Catena Nova
March 31, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Easter Sunday (B)
Catena Nova
Now the holy rays of the light of Christ shine forth, the pure stars of the pure Spirit rise, the heavenly treasures of glory and divinity lie open. In this splendour the long dark night has been swallowed up and the dreary shadows of death have vanished. For us who believe in him a glorious day has dawned, a long unending day, the mystical Passover symbolically celebrated by the Law and effectually accomplished by Christ, a wonderful Passover, a miracle of divine virtue, a work of divine power. This is the true festival and the everlasting memorial, the day upon which freedom from suffering comes from suffering, immortality from death, life from the tomb, healing from a wound, Resurrection from the fall, and Ascension into heaven from the descent into hell. (St. Hippolytus)
How shall I recount for you these hidden realities or proclaim what surpasses every word and concept? How shall I lay open before you the mystery of the Lord’s resurrection, the saving sign of his cross and of his three days’ death? Each and every event that happened to our Saviour is an outward sign of the mystery of our redemption. Just as Christ was born from his mother’s inviolate virginal womb, so too he rose again from the closed tomb. As he, the only-begotten Son of God, was made the firstborn of his mother, so, by his resurrection, he became the firstborn from the dead. His birth did not break the seal of his mother’s virginal integrity; nor did his rising from the dead break the seals on the sepulchre. And so, just as I cannot fully express his birth in words, neither can I wholly encompass his going forth from the tomb. (St. John Chrysostom)
We awaken in Christ's body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ. He enters
my foot, and is infinitely me.
I move my hand, and wonderfully
my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God indivisibly
whole, seamless in his Godhood.)
I move my foot, and at once
He appears in a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous? - Then
open your heart to Him
And let yourself receive the one
who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love him,
we wake up inside Christ's body
Where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized as joy in Him,
and He makes us utterly real.
And everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in Him transformed
and recognized as whole, as lovely,
and radiant in His light.
We awaken as the Beloved
in every last part of our body.
(Symeon the New Theologian)
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. And you also, if you watch daily at the threshold of wisdom, fixing your eyes on the doorway and, like the Magdalen, keeping vigil at the entrance to his tomb, you also will find what she found. You will know that what was written of Wisdom was written of Christ, She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. Anyone who rises early to seek her will have no trouble; he will find her sitting at his gates. (Bl. Guerric of Igny)
Christ was in the tomb; the whole world was sown with the seed of Christ’s life; that which happened thirty years ago in the womb of the Virgin Mother was happening now, but now it was happening yet more secretly, yet more mysteriously, in the womb of the whole world.  Christ had already told those who flocked to hear Him preach that the seed must fall into the earth, or else remain by itself alone.  Now the seed of His life was hidden in darkness in order that His life should quicken in countless hearts, over and over again for all time.  His burial, which seemed to be the end, was the beginning.  It was the beginning of Christ-life in multitudes of souls.  It was the beginning, too, of the renewal of Christ’s life in countless souls. (Caryll Houselander)
Sunrise is an event that calls forth solemn music in the very depth of human nature, as if one's whole being had to attune itself to the cosmos and praise God for the new day, praise God in the name of all the creatures that ever were or ever will be. I look at the rising sun and feel that now upon me falls the responsibility of seeing what all my ancestors have seen, in the Stone Age and even before it, praising God before me....When the sun rises each one of us is summoned by the living and the dead to praise God.  (Thomas Merton)
Bringing these two things together - the mortal and the immortal, the earthly and the heavenly, the finite and the Infinite - is the central mystery of this mystery religion that we call Christianity. It's about "anointing" the world to be the real presence of God. This is what is celebrated in the Easter vigil and Eucharistic Feast. What we call "resurrection" is the full manifestation of the Incarnation itself. This is the revelation of what and who we really are...Thus the divine life comes down from heaven and is sown in a perishable body. But the divine life gradually rises up as the imperishable that it truly is. The world itself is to be wrapped in the mantle of divine praise, the presence of the life-giving Spirit. And this takes place through us, the highly conscious elements of the world, the humanity made from "humus," from the dust of the earth, the dust of the stars, and organized into a "living being," which is ultimately to realize itself as the "life-giving Spirit." The first humanity was from the earth, a humanity of dust; the second humanity is from heaven....Just as we have borne the image of the humanity of dust, we shall also bear the image of the humanity of heaven. (1Cor.15:47,49)  (Beatrice Bruteau)