When I was coming close to being ordained a priest, one of the things I had to organise was the prayer card to be given out as a memento of my ordination. For the image on the prayer card, I chose the image below and, as you can see, it is an image of The Resurrection in icon form. On this, my second Easter as a priest (and first as CYM chaplain), I thought I’d share a few thoughts on what the Resurrection and Easter have meant for me particularly on my 18 month anniversary as a priest which happens to be the day that I finish writing this article/reflection.
The image I chose for my ordination prayer card is a modern rendering of a classic subject in icons and that is the Risen Christ breaking down the doors of hell, breaking the power of sin and rising triumphant in overcoming death. At the bottom are the doors of hell which Christ breaks under his feet and locks and chains can be seen symbolising how sin locks and chains us in enslavement. Over these, Christ grasps the hands of Adam and Eve and he lifts them out of the tombs. Adam and Eve are reaching out for Christ as much as Christ is lifting them out.
In many ways, this image represents what The Resurrection is about, that Easter is something that happens every day and how the Risen Christ is still active in our world today:
The Resurrection is not just about something that happened “once upon a time” or just in the past or far into the future; the Resurrection is not something that only just happened once or will happen sometime but is happening right now in our own time. In my short time as a priest, I’ve already seen it in:
There are other examples I could go into where I have seen that:
It is because of the Resurrection, because of Easter, that these are not just merely nice, wishful slogans: they are realities.
Amid the darkness, evil and sin in our own lives and in the world, there is no guarantee except for the Resurrection of the ultimate power of life, light and love.
That is why we need to not only believe but proclaim the Resurrection everywhere not only with our words but with the witness and testimony of our lives: Christ has risen, Alleluia!