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March 27, 2008
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Br. Bruno M. Shah, O.P.
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Dominican Province of St. Joseph
"Since the time of St. Dominic, more than 800 years ago, Dominicans have been living and sharing the message of the Gospel."

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Our Easter Challenge: To Live a Luminous Life

After an intense Lent and a glorious Holy Week, itís all too easy to lapse into a spiritual hangover. Some thoughts on keeping the Easter flame burning through the season, and beyond.


Having woken up on a true new year's Paschal morn, do we find perhaps that the sun is too bright and that we would rather stay in bed? An evangelical danger during these bright weeks of grace is the spiritual hangover that can result from an arduous Lent or an overwhelming Easter.

We do well to recognize the spectacular battle between light and darkness that is commemorated through the Holy Week mysteries and culminated in the Easter Vigil. It is just when darkness would seem most triumphant, when love incarnate has been executed and condemned to hell by the judgment of men, it is then that gratia ex gratia fires forth. Into the night through which we vigil, Easter's flame ragingly irrupts and the light of Christ fulgurates beautiful and victorious.

The battle between light and darkness that is liturgically occasioned by Holy Week is very much the continuing situation of our lives.
The battle between light and darkness that is liturgically occasioned by Holy Week is, nevertheless, very much the continuing situation of our lives. "For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens" (Eph 6:12). Our world's dark seas of relativity cosmically swell out in profound pain, violently clamoring for the light of the eternal Logos whom it would drown despite itself. By its very condition, darkness calls out for the halcyon mercy of Christian enlightenment.

Christ's light is the fullness of God's chaos-calming Revelation (Jn 1). "In the beginning...darkness covered the face of the earth" (Gen 1:1). But at the close of the ages "there will be no more night; we shall need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be our light, and we shall reign forever" (Rev 22:5). It is in this light that we already live.

In virtue of our baptism, all Christians are called to burn in love as the light of this world. In the Lord we ourselves are light (Eph 5:8): we are spiritually photogenic! And having received the light, we are commissioned to shine forth the light. As God's supernaturally brilliant emissaries, we fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:12) for the good of the world. All this is to say that, although in some sense the Christian sacrifice does not end on Easter morning, it is in fact given a perfect and final vigor: divine hope.

All Christians are called to burn in love as the light of this world.
Can anyone argue against the power of light? Does its force not rest in the fact that it accomplishes what it is? Light lights as much as love loves. If one would be great, one must take up one's cross and follow Christ. If one is called The Great, it is because he lived and preached Christ's cruciform mystery of light, not putting it under a bushel basket but proclaiming it from the city set on a hill (Mt 5: 14-15).

Christians: we are the light of the world for we are in Christ! Let us not hang ourselves over from our mission but courageously "live as children of the light," "drawing our strength from God" (Eph 5:8, 6:10). The God qui caritas est sends us into the world to shine his agapic light. Let us all be "imitators of our God" (Eph 5:1) who is light (1 Jn 1:5), that the Morning Star who never sets (Exsultet) may find our celestial fire forever aflame.

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April 17, 2006

BR. BRUNO M. SHAH, O.P. is a member of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph, the Order of Preachers.

© Copyright 2006, Br. Bruno M. Shah, O.P. All rights reserved.

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READER COMMENTS
04.18.06   Godspy says:
After an intense Lent and a glorious Holy Week, itís all too easy to lapse into a spiritual hangover. Some thoughts on keeping the Easter flame burning through the season, and beyond.

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