An Easter Message from Father Brian
Dear Alumni, Parents and Friends,
On Holy Monday after a visit to his office I was talking with my friend and chiropractor John Bisaccia of the Class of ’88 about the importance of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday in terms of our Christian faith. The events that these liturgical celebrations capture and express the most important elements of what it means to be a Christian.
On Holy Thursday we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper and how this is intimately connected to our baptismal call to be of service to others through Jesus’s own example of washing the feet of his disciples. On Good Friday we celebrate the emptying of God’s very self in Jesus as he hung upon the cross out of great love for our sake. The cross is then transformed on Easter Sunday with the discovery of the empty tomb by Mary Magdalene.
In our conversation about these Easter mysteries, John remarked how he always remembered the detail about the foot race between Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved after Mary Magdalene informed them of the empty tomb on that first Easter morning. “Every year,” John said, “we hear the other disciple running faster than Peter and reaching the tomb first. What a detail to include in the story!”
John is on to something here. The details are important. As we read and pray with the resurrection stories, the details help us imagine what it may have been like to be among the disciples as Easter faith gradually emerged. The detail that Mary Magdalene could not recognize Jesus at the tomb until He called her by name, the doubting reaction of Thomas and his inserting his hand into Jesus wounds in the Upper Room, the number of fish caught, 153, as Jesus appeared to his disciples at the sea and cooked them breakfast and the many other details of the Easter narratives help us engage our faith. The details of these stories invite us deeper into the mystery we celebrate at Easter.
As we gather after what seems like a year-long season of Lent amidst COVID-19, we have many reasons to celebrate with joy this Easter hoping that the rollout of the vaccine quickens and ends the pandemic. In the coming days I hope you can reflect on the Gospel passages telling the Easter story. They nurture our faith, and the details are important. Happy Easter!
Rev. Brian J. Cummings, S.S.E.’86
Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry