Easter is a bittersweet time for many people, whether they think, or care, about its significance.
The shadow of the story of the Crucifixion with its connotations of suffering, judgment and punishment lies over us, carried down through countless generations into our hearts, a miasma of sadness that the redemption of the Resurrection cannot heal. The sense of loss is strong in some of us at this time, while others see Easter as an extended holiday weekend with lots of chocolate – but despite disinterest and forgetfulness the sense of this being a time of moment is a veil that covers us all.
The Easter story relates to past events leading to our spiritual learning and gratitude for the hope it gives us for our future; it is about death and resurrection, transformation and growth, and these messages can be particularly visible at the time around the Easter full moon, which is the full moon closest to the key Christian celebration of Easter. In 2019 it is on Good Friday, and the coinciding of the two on this day makes the energies both lunar and religious extremely powerful. Through the messages we are forced to wake up, to see, and to think.
The great reminder has happened. The magnificent French church of Our Lady has burned, her partial destruction a reminder of death and rebirth, of pain and of loss, of the messages of Easter. The French nation and many others worldwide remember her past, her symbolism, her grace and her gifts; there is a determination that she will be reborn with even greater beauty, and that such a tragedy will never be allowed to happen again. So many parallels…….
In his time Jesus was loved, but in his time too he was dishonoured and unappreciated by many. It was his story, and his Easter story after his death, that over time gave rise to his importance, influence and Christianity. Notre Dame has been loved always, but she has been neglected for centuries, calling out for care and physical attention, even taken for granted. She has had a near-death experience through the purification of fire, reminding us of her spiritual and iconic importance and of her needs.
The Easter story taught us much, but it is easy to ignore it. This weekend is a time to remember what it means for each of us and to acknowledge Spirit, just as, in Paris, the French have a chance to learn from Our Lady and to do what is right to honour her once again. Let us not forget, this time.