TAKING TIME FOR NEW
We’re in one of those times of the year called an Octave – a week to enjoy and deepen the experience of something pretty powerful and good; in this case, Easter.
But time can fly by pretty quickly and we can be tempted to close the lid on it and get on with our busy, busy hurried full and complex demanding lives.
But not so within the Church.
Whether you’ve just completed a long course of instruction so that you can enter the Church with understanding; or whether you’ve just come across a deep insight about some point of Easter; or whether you’ve learned something new and vital about yourself and the Resurrection of Christ; or maybe just some small thing occurred to you —
— there is time, now, this week provided by our Liturgical Calendar to savor what we’ve learned and to s l o w d o w n and explore what we’ve come to understand.
It’s a human pace. A more human pace for thinking. Because getting a new insight is a satisfying feeling. It’s bright, new growth.
And if no new thoughts have come to you in the days leading up to Easter, then there is time now, like a second chance, to catch hold of something you may have missed. There is a whole week of days, a whole Octave of Easter, to enjoy what’s there for us.
It’s okay if nothing has come to you yet. In today’s Gospel we read about the two disciples who sadly left Jerusalem, thinking they had experienced it all during this past Easter weekend. They were puzzled, perplexed, and just wanted to go home to Emmaus.
Here’s a famous painting of the Emmaus Road. The disciples were met by the Resurrected Jesus, something they didn’t expect or even even thought could happen. And there Jesus was, taking this time to point out to them how He had just fulfilled everything that the Scriptures had written about it.
Let the meaning of the Easter events sink in deeper.
He explained how it all worked out in cosmology, in history, the development of prophetic understanding, and in the recent current events which they lived through and knew so well that they couldn’t see the meaning of it all.
We can join them there on the Emmaus Road during this Easter Week. The Church gives us time for it; the Church encourages us to . . . take time to think.
The world is a demanding and severe taskmaster. The culture does not care for the needs of the individual.
Listen to the instruction of the Church — and compare:
“It behooves us all fervently to celebrate the feast of the Pasch in which our great High Priest was slain for our sins, and to honor it by carefully observing all it prescribes. Let no one, therefore, do any servile work during these six days (which follow Easter Sunday) but let all come together to sing . . . and to assist at the daily Sacrifice, and to praise our Creator and Redeemer in the evening, morning, and mid-day.” (a 6th century counsel, quoted by Dom Gueranger, in The Liturgical year, Vol. 7)
How nice. Time to enjoy Easter. Time to praise our God and to have friendship and fellowship with each other, and to rest in our faith.
Or maybe we can only manage to just hum a few lines form Easter songs that echo in our ears?