by Ken Rolheiser
Easter thoughts and pebbles in the sand

Another Easter Season is upon us. We survived the Lenten challenges and are ready for fifty days of celebration and chocolate. I would like to share a few thoughts that I gleaned from this year’s Easter preparation.

For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe. Larry Eisenberg

Satisfaction with life often comes with achievement. "Two things are necessary for great achievement: A plan, and not quite enough time.”  Leonard Bernstein. And “while procrastination can be a vice to productivity, it can be a boon to creativity”. Bill Gross

Some of the deeper realizations I enjoyed this Lent involved pain and loss. At a funeral I was led to ponder the mysteries written by the author of life. In this sometime vale of tears we sojourn. Our stay is temporary. When we have acquired the earth, we take our places in the grave.

Christ is the Sunrise! Resplendent in Glory!  But who stops to notice?

If no religion is the new religion, the devil must be happy.

Easter Joy is ours if we make the connections among the events of the Easter Season. Our struggles as pilgrims on earth’s journey have been lightened. Jesus gave us the Eucharist. Our brief stay on this earth has been altered with the introduction of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Mysteries! Resurrection follows the events of Good Friday. Death has been defeated. There is something to look forward to in all this.

God changed our lowliness into victory. God chose Mary, the handmaid of the Lord. An un-wed mother living in earth’s poverty was exalted by heaven. Our lowliness is transformed. Mystery!

All of the mysteries written by the author of life deserve pondering. The mighty acts of God in creation, the Exodus, the prophets and the Gospel stories of the New Testament give us hope and reassurance on our journey.

My greatest Easter experience was the simplest exercise. One Face-book question asked: If you could spend an hour on a park bench, who would you choose to be with? My mind was foggy for a moment and then Jesus came to mind.

Later I thought, “How easy it is to invite Jesus to such an encounter.” Imagine Jesus sitting with your family when you are at prayer? Imagine Him on the extra chair at the dinner table. How this changes our perspective. How the petty squabbles evaporate.

With the welcome presence of such an inspiring guest it won’t be long before we will want Jesus to be with us when we face pain or sickness. We will want Jesus with us in the boat when the seas are rough, in our cars when the roads are icy.

We are like pebbles in a rushing stream. One of my Lenten activities involved looking for polished stones with my grandchildren. Some were so perfectly round. Others I accepted because they selected them

Then I thought that God looks for those rounded pebbles; us. The millions of buffets and smashing forces that smooth our edges help us evolve. Then there are the really precious stones that have a character mark or scar on them. These I treasure.

Occasionally I will find half a pebble, smashed by some Niagara force. I treasure these for the pebble they became in life’s trauma. In the end I envision the Master collector picking up a pebble and saying, “This one’s almost perfect!”

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