Reflection for Sunday, April 4, 2021: Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord.

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Kalkowski, Julie
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|Easter morning…the Lenten days of fasting, almsgiving and repenting are over.  Christ's resurrection vividly demonstrates that love is always stronger than fear or hate or even death. Certainly, something to celebrate. And given what we have all been through this past year, we all really need reasons to celebrate, to find joy.|So, why do my thoughts keep returning to the Sunday two weeks before Easter?  "Amen, amen, I say to you unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit." |More than any time of the liturgical year, Lent calls us to "die to self" so that we can fully use our gifts and talents to foster the city of God here and now. The season of Lent invites us to move away from being part of the "stiff necked" crowd to become people who depend on God, who desire a strong relationship with God. It gives us space to move away from the "I do it myself" attitude that my daughter Emma frequently told me when she was 2 years old; to seeing that I need God, that God's guidance will lead me where I called to go. And to see that I don't have to "do it myself", because God is always there, always ready to help me move towards God's love and forgiveness.|While I would like to report that, because of the work I did this past Lent, that Iam no longer a member of the "stiff necked people", alas, it is not true. I have not 'risen' above my fears, beyond my wants.  That will take much longer than 40 days!|What I did learn this Lent, is the power of the pause…to take a deep breath before I react.  This seems to de-escalate my interactions. It can slow down a situation, so it doesn't get out of hand. That pause can be a moment of grace that gives me the opportunity to take a step back….to see that I have a choice in how to continue a conversation or a task. It is a practice I will need to nurture. I am grateful to Victor Frankl for his writings about the power of pausing. He says that pausing gives us the power and the freedom to make a different choice.|Although this is not in keeping with the Church's liturgical calendar, I am going to keep working on my Lenten resolutions. Where/how do need to 'die to self' so that I can throw out the "yeast of malice and wickedness"?  What are my fears and insecurities that make me susceptible to the "yeast of malice and wickedness" and/or encourage me reject the "unleavened bread of sincerity and truth"?  What keeps me holding fast to beliefs that do not serve God and could harm others?|I am afraid I am in for a long Lent, but somehow, I am looking forward to this journey. 
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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