Easter Reflection

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Today’s reflection is written by Brother Lawrence Harvey, C.F.X., Superior General of the Xaverian Brothers.

He saw and believed.

[John 20:9]

May the joy and peace of the Risen Christ be with all of us on this Easter morning!

Today’s gospel reading, and, in particular, the experience of the beloved disciple narrated in the gospel, gives us a glimpse of what is possible when one lives in the constant presence of the awareness of Jesus’ love and compassion. After hearing from Mary of Magdala that “they have taken the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they put him,” Simon Peter and “the other disciple whom Jesus loved” ran to the tomb. While both disciples see the burial cloths, it is the beloved disciple who “saw and believed.” Can it be that his seeing and believing is a result of the mystical union with Jesus that he had already achieved? Because the beloved disciple was so devoted to the Lord in deep friendship and lived in the awareness of Jesus’ love and compassion for him, faith in the Resurrection came to him naturally.

This gift of faith, however, is not reserved exclusively for the disciple John. It is a grace given to anyone who unites him/herself to Jesus and lives in the constant awareness of Jesus’ presence in life. While reason and the rational mind are trying to comprehend the mystery, the mystic just knows – no explanation needed; he/she simply sees and believes. I believe my grandfather received this gift as a result of the quiet life of prayer he led. He was totally devoted to my grandmother and his family, but his rosary was always within reach. He would take the quiet moments of the day to unite himself to the Lord in prayer. He would take the longer periods early in the morning and late in the evening for extended prayer. I use to think he was one of those people who held the world together through prayer.

I am confident that there are many examples of Xaverian Brothers and others who have followed the Xaverian Way who have been graced with this same gift. Brothers Peter Kelly and Michael Angelus come to mind. Living Brothers came to mind as well, but they would be too embarrassed to have me cite them by name. All of us, however, can develop practices that assist us in giving the kind of undivided attention that John, the beloved disciple, gave to Jesus. Hopefully, the practice many of us have done together by “praying Lent the Xaverian Way” these past 40 days has been of assistance to us on our spiritual journey.

Our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his message during the General Audience of Holy Week, placed the message and meaning of Holy Week in the context of the call to go beyond ourselves, beyond the limits we impose on ourselves, to preach the gospel on the margins. It seems to me that this message resonates with the themes we have been praying during the season of Lent. As followers of the Xaverian Way – Brothers, Xaverian Associates, Collaborators and friends – we are called and invited to be both the beloved disciple, living in awareness of God’s love, and the evangelizer that Pope Francis speaks about. In the Fundamental Principles we hear:

Remember,
Jesus, your brother,
has walked this path before you.
In you,
as Risen Lord,
He wants to walk this path again,
and His Spirit, the Spirit of God,
now guides you.

May this be our prayer as we journey this Easter Season.

Thank you for joining us in “praying Lent the Xaverian Way;” and thank you to all those who wrote a reflection for us – special thanks to Chris Irr, who coordinated the Lenten reflections, and to Brother David Mahoney from Nairobi, who provided the French translation each day. Please let us know if you found this method of prayer helpful, and remember, to check back to livingthecharism.com on a regular basis to see new postings, videos, photos and reflections.

 

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One Comment

  1. Chris Spahr says:

    Thanks for a wonderful reflection! Happy Easter!

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