“This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalms 118:23
We all like to carry a lingering feeling of any voice in our heart, be it after we speak to someone or we hear the sweet strains of any particular song. The words repeat itself over and over again in our ears, minds and hearts all at the same time and becomes an unforgettable memory.
As William Wordsworth rightly phrased it in his famous poem; ‘The Solitary Reaper’; two lines which leave a great impact; “The music in my heart I bore, long after it was heard no more.”
The best part about listening to hymns in the morning is that we carry the soothing lyrics in our heart as we go about the day and our activities. This somehow fills us with a pacifying feeling and lifts our spirits as well. This morning, I was listening to the alluring and hope stirring hymn; “In the sweet, by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.”
The anticipation of any meeting fills us with great hope and joy, we like to build up this expectancy and happiness way before the actual meeting takes place.
When we look forward to being in our home town at last we can equate it with the joy of the psalmist when he expresses his excessive happiness in Psalms 122 on standing in the very gates of the holy city; “I rejoiced when I heard them say, let’s go to the Temple of the Lord, and now my feet are standing, within your gates, O Jerusalem.”
Today, on Easter Monday, we are standing in front of the Open Tomb and our exhilaration knows no bounds. The Lord is Risen! Our hearts burst in fervent praise of Alleluia! The Lord becomes the eternal song of salvation for us; “Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.” Psalms 118:19,28
If we dwell on the real meaning of Easter, we can comprehend the heaven rocketing joy that we ought to feel in a profound manner.
At Easter, the Lord not only destroyed sin and death but also opened the gates of heaven to us and to those who were sleeping in Christ since the beginning of creation. These people were our forefathers, the prophets and all righteous people who had died before the coming of Christ right from Adam and Eve. Through His wounds and the blood He shed, sins were forgiven. He won the everlasting gift of heavenly glory for the whole world. He overturned the chains of death into eternal life. Death could no longer sting and the grave could never be a victor again. The open tomb thus symbolized the open gates to the New Jerusalem.
Even after He ascended to the Father to be at the right hand of the throne of God, He left His presence with us in the world in the form of His own spirit that dwells within us. The risen Lord is thus always with us, besides us, never far way from us and ever close at hand.
After His resurrection, the Lord encountered the disciples on the shore of Galilee where He commissioned Peter with the authority of the Church to look after his flock. Mary Magdalene recognized the Lord by His voice when she thought He was the gardener at first.
May the voice of the Lord be heard the most by us whenever He speaks to us in the Eucharist, the Word and Sacraments. May the joy of the resurrection fill our days forever more until we encounter Him standing on the Easter shore, the shore of the Risen Lord to take us home by hand.
A favorite line of my personal prayer since childhood has been : “Lord, may every day be Easter and every night be Christmas.” Perhaps this is what we are called to experience, the coming of the Lord into this world at His birth and the coming of the Risen Lord after His death.
We are all familiar with the phrase; ‘Safe journey’ when we embark on any travel. May we also pray for a safe travel in the journey of life under the protection of the Risen Lord until we reach home at last.
May the beautiful feeling of the resurrection linger in our hearts and souls this lovely Easter season!