Easter Sunday has come and gone, but we are still celebrating Easter at Bushwick Abbey. While most of us associate Easter with waking up, as children, to a basket full of candy left by a giant rabbit, it may come as a surprise to you that Easter is actually not just a day, but a season of the church, like Lent or Advent. The season of Easter lasts for fifty days right up to Pentecost when the Spirit made her passionate, unruly presence known to the disciples in Jerusalem.
Easter begins with the empty tomb and continues with the disciples’ encounters with the resurrected Jesus. Last week we heard the story of the disciples’ fishing trip. Having spent the entire night on the boat without catching anything, Peter and the other disciples are heading back, when a person standing on the beach tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. Soon their nets are full to bursting with fish. When they get back to shore, Jesus serves the tired, hungry fishermen a breakfast of grilled fish. Abundant fish, abundant love — what Jesus offers meets our deepest hunger.
Easter Sunday is a spiritual and emotional high after the dark experience of Holy Week. But we can’t stay in that high place for long. It takes at least fifty day, if not the better part of a lifetime, to figure out what that empty tomb means. In our Easter proclamation, “He is risen,” we make the outrageous claim that Jesus’ death on the cross destroyed death, and that in his rising to life again, we find the assurance of everlasting life. The season of Easter is an opportunity to lean into the scandalous paradox of the cross.