On this weeks show, we have a special show celebrating the high point of the Christian year with the celebration of Easter. We have our regular prayer moment at the beginning of the show, our reflection on the Easter Gospel - literally Easter Good News! - a reflection on Easter and some thoughts on various traditions associated with Easter.
Gospel - John 20:1-9
The event of the Resurrection wasn't witnessed by any of the evangelists but what we have is the witness of the early church to the actual historical event which occurred and which is attested to by all the gospels - the empty tomb and the appearances of Jesus after the resurrection.
The event happened on the first day of the week, at dawn when Mary had the first opportunity to get to the tomb as soon as the Sabbath had passed with the rising of the sun. She went straight to the tomb to be near her Lord with the other women. A very human response to death, no matter what century, we all seek closure, the need to be able to visit a grave of a loved one.
Upon discovering the fact that the tomb was opened, Mary ran to tell Peter - the traitor, the man who had denied Jesus three times - and John - the Beloved Disciple - to tell them that the tomb has been emptied, possibly violated! Peter as usual sets out quickly - a man of action again - but John arrives first and waits for Peter to come and Peter doesn't pause but barrels straight into the tomb.
John almost makes the point that as they saw they empty tomb, the penny dropped for them in terms of what Jesus has himself told them but also from what they knew from the prophets and the law. Do we believe? Is there a danger that have we heard the story too often? Has the power and impact of the event become almost too familiar for us?
Have we asked ourselves do we believe in the Resurrection? And what then does that belief mean? Are we willing to let God be God and allow stones to be moved in our life? The stone had been moved from the tomb - a note of hope for all of us of the power of the Resurrection - are we willing to come out of our tombs of addiction and lack of "true life".
Other reflections on this weeks readings are available from Word on Fire, English Dominicans, GodzDogz.
Colours associated with Easter are white- purity - and gold - glory. Peacocks are an ancient symbol of the Resurrection and in the USA lilies are symbols of Easter and new life. During Eastertide (Easter Sunday to Pentecost) the Angelus is replaced by the Regina Caeili.
Of course one of the big traditions associated with Easter is the Easter Egg.The egg is seen by followers of Christianity as a symbol of resurrection: while being dormant it contains a new life sealed within it. In the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, shed on the Cross, and the hard shell of the egg symbolized the sealed Tomb of Christ—the cracking of which symbolized his resurrection from the dead. Easter eggs are blessed by the priest at the end of the Paschal Vigil, and distributed to the faithful. Each household also brings an Easter basket to church, filled not only with Easter eggs but also with other Paschal foods such as paskha, kulich or Easter breads, and these are blessed by the priest as well. During Paschaltide, in some traditions the Paschal greeting with the Easter egg is even extended to the deceased. On either the second Monday or Tuesday of Pascha, after a memorial service people bring blessed eggs to the cemetery and bring the joyous paschal greeting, "Christ has risen", to their beloved departed. While the origin of easter eggs can be explained in the symbolic terms described above, a sacred tradition among followers of Eastern Christianity says that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus, and the eggs in her basket miraculously turned brilliant red when she saw the risen Christ.The egg represents the boulder of the tomb of Jesus. A different, but not necessarily conflicting legend concerns Mary Magdalene's efforts to spread the Gospel. According to this tradition, after the Ascension of Jesus, Mary went to the Emperor of Rome and greeted him with "Christ has risen," whereupon he pointed to an egg on his table and stated, "Christ has no more risen than that egg is red." After making this statement it is said the egg immediately turned blood red.