Monday, March 27, 2006

The Resurrection

The glorious mysteries, which celebrate our risen and triumphant Lord, really do not fit into the Lenten spirit of preparing for our risen and triumphant Lord. In hindsight, I should have done the glorious mysteries on the Sundays during Lent as Sundays technically do not belong to the Lenten season as celebrating the risen Lord trumps the Lenten focus of prepration. Uh oh... now my inner geek / pharisee is getting out of control and insists on mentioning that the Lenten season which mirrors the 40 days in the desert leads us to a curious anomaly. If Ash Wendesday is day 1 of Lent, then the day before easter becomes day 46. But when you remove the 6 sundays in this period, we get back to 40 days of Lent. Yeah, I know, totally irrelevant, see my earlier post on geeks and nerds.

In the first glorious mystery, we think about the risen Lord, eternally glorified. One may wonder "how this is different from life before the first joyful mystery?" Before the Word became Flesh, the Word was alive and eternal. Has the Word merely reverted to its former undying state? Does the resurrection simply reset everything that happened since the Angel Gabriel announced the coming of Our Lord? Do we then forget everything Our Lord has done before the resurrection? Granted, in his risen state Our Lord still has flesh and before the incarnation he had no flesh. But if that is the only point, surely he could have entered the world in his glorified state and not bothered with the messy in between details. Why did he bother with a detour?

The only answer I can see is that he did this to establish a personal relationship with us. A crucial step, of course, is to set us free from our sins - but it is not the only step. He chose his path, which involved birth and death, in order that we could walk it to. Now that his path involves rising to new life, our paths can also involve rising to new life.

If we look back on the five joyful mysteries (the annunciation, the visitation, the nativity, the presentation, finding the Lord in the temple) and the five luminous mysteries (the baptism of Our Lord, the wedding at Cana, preaching the kingdom, the Transfiguration, the institution of the Eucharist) and the five sorrowful mysteries (the agony in the garden, the scourging at the pillar, the crown of thorns, carrying the cross, the crucifixion) we see that all these events are not only centred on Jesus but focused heavily on his personal relationship with us.

Taking this idea and applying it to the resurrection, which first brings to mind Jesus risen and alone, we see that our thoughts on the resurrection also need to focus on our relationship with the Lord. Namely, our relationship with the Lord, just like the Lord himself, is now characterised by a victory over death. Or as Paul says, in Romans 6:5
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection

Almost makes the Sorrowful mysteries seem worth enduring, doesn't it?

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