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A celebration: The Resurrection of Jesus

After 40 days of immersing ourselves in Lent, culminating in the sacred days of the Triduum, we have the joyous celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus.

In my readings, I came across the wonderful book by John Dominic Crossan and Sarah Sexton Crossan, Resurrecting Easter. The premise of the book is that the Easter understanding of the Resurrection defers significantly from the Western understanding. The book is filled with marvelous images that enlighten the reader of the interpretation of the Resurrection seen through the eyes of our Eastern brethren.

This is a photo of the Western icon showing Jesus with angels at his feet.

The icons represent the Western and the Eastern interpretations of the Resurrection. The Western icon shows Jesus in glory with adoring angels at his feet. Crossan names this image the “individual Resurrection.”

The Eastern icon represents Jesus in glory surrounded by prophets and bringing Adam and Eve with him in what Crossan names the “universal Resurrection.” The book delves into the readings of Scripture about the Resurrection and how the interpretations differ yet have the same grounding in Jesus’ Resurrection.

The idea of a “universal Resurrection” sparked a fire within me. It speaks to our journey as a Providence Community from I-to-We-to-One. As depicted in the Eastern icon, the Resurrection is about all people beckoned by Jesus to be One with the Divine.

This is a photo Sister Sue took from the book “Resurrecting Easter,” which is of an anastasis.

The word “anastasis” is the word used in the Eastern tradition rather than Resurrection. Anastasis means rebirth; rebirth in the fullness of God’s love. And, as depicted in the icon, we are with Jesus in his rebirth! We are resurrected and reborn. We are transformed.

Think of the foreshadowing of the Anastasis in the Transfiguration of Jesus. Jesus is accompanied by Peter, James and John. Jesus’ message is always to the community. It is holistic, not individualistic. Rebirth occurs in relationship.

How are we moving toward a holistic understanding of Love, Mercy and Justice?

Are we bringing our individual gifts to the community at large to foster the One?

Happy Anastasis! Alleluia!

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Sister Sue Paweski

Sister Sue Paweski

Sister Sue has been a Sister of Providence since 1998. She currently serves in pastoral ministry at St Catherine of Siena-St Lucy, St Giles Parish in Oak Park, Illinois. Prior to that, she ministered as Co-director of the Providence Associate relationship with the Sisters of Providence.

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  1. Avatar Debbie Griffey on April 8, 2023 at 8:16 am

    I love this Anastasis! Thank you for sharing this, it is very representative of holistic inclusion.

  2. Avatar Paula Modaff, SP on April 8, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks so much for your beautiful reflection on the reality of communal Resurrection, Sue. It truly is the only way, isn’t it?

  3. Avatar Joanna Jones on April 10, 2023 at 9:44 am

    This post is a great reminder that the Easter religious observance is very different from the way we view it here in the West. Thank you for posting this.

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