Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Posts Tagged ‘Easter’

Redeeming Love – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Play
Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Luke 24:1-12

It’s Easter Day! Today our Lord Jesus Christ has been raised gloriously from the dead.  Alleluia! Today is a day for rejoicing. He is Risen: Alleluia!

But on Monday, just six days ago, I was not rejoicing. I was tearful. I was staring in shock and stunned silence – as you may have been too – watching those pictures of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burning. I first went to Notre Dame when I was 14; I was staying with my pen friend’s family in Paris. I was struck dumb, even at that age, with the beauty, the colour and light, the sheer holinessof the place. I remember we lit candles, and sat gazing in wrapt silence at a great rose window, shimmering like a jewel.

Throughout most of my life, as a parish priest in England, I tried to go back most years to Notre Dame, to light candles and pray for friends and parishioners who were sick or in need.  Back to the place where for me, in Eliot’s words, “prayer had been valid.”

So it was heartbreaking to see this place of beauty and loveliness where I have for years felt so close to God, mauled and wounded and ravaged by fire.

Read More

Resurrection Knowing – Br. Keith Nelson

Play

Br. Keith NelsonJohn 20:1-18

Running in the dark
a stone out of place
a broken seal
an open door.

Sweat evaporating on necks and ankles chills the skin of of two men who followed Him everywhere.

Tears well up and spill over in the eyes of a woman who loved him above all else.

Hearts beat faster
hands tremble
reason flutters, falters, and fails

in the face of a
newfound,
deafening
absence
where He who said I AM seemed not to be

and yet
Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Words whispered in the beginning return
a new song gathers within the silence. Read More

Prisoners of Hope – Br. James Koester

Br. James KoesterThe Great Vigil of Easter

Romans 6: 1 – 13
Psalm 114
Mark 16: 1 – 8

Every once in a while I’ll be minding my own business, and suddenly, in the middle of Morning or Evening Prayer, something is read and my attention is instantly arrested. A word, or a phrase, or an image from Scripture leaps out of the appointed reading at me, and for the next hour, or day, or week, it returns to me over and again. That happened a week ago, on Palm Sunday, at Morning Prayer, and suddenly what we say in our Rule of Life became immediately true. We read there that in our worship the Spirit sometimes touches us immediately through a word, an image or a story; there and then we experience the Lord speaking to us.[1]

Keith had been reading from Zechariah, where the Prophet proclaims that the coming ruler of God’s people will arrive humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.[2] It’s an all-too-familiar passage that I have read, or heard, dozens of times, and because of its association with Palm Sunday, we heard it again last Sunday at Morning Prayer. In spite of having heard that passage countless time before, I have actually never heard it. Or, at least I have been so caught up with the image of the king coming, humble, and riding on a donkey, that I have never heard the rest of the lesson. As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.[3]

It was the phrase prisoners of hope that arrested me. Suddenly, I was no longer thinking about kings and donkeys, palms and processions, but prisoners, freedom, and hope. I was thinking what it might mean to be a prisoner of hope. In a sense, while everyone else was celebrating Palm Sunday, and beginning to enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby [God] has given us life and immortality,[4] I was already at Easter, thinking about the gift of freedom and hope that comes to us through the Resurrection of Jesus. And that is where I have spent this week, living the events of Holy Week through the lens of being a prisoner of hope. Read More

The Legacy of St. Thomas – Br. Curtis Almquist

Play

curtis4John 20:19-31

The apostle Thomas has been branded “Doubting Thomas,” but that’s unfair, and it’s inaccurate.  The opposite is true.  There are two scenes in the Gospel prior to what we’ve just heard that shed light on the apostle Thomas.  One scene is when Jesus was trying to say “good-bye” to his disciples, just prior to his being seized in the garden at Gethsemane.  Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled….  I go to prepare a place for you… and you know where I am going….”   No.  Not so.  Not at least for Thomas.  It seems only Thomas has the courage to admit that he is clueless.  “My Lord,” Thomas says, “We don’t have the slightest idea where you are going!  How can we know the way?” (1) (It’s a good question; an honest question for us, too.  How can we know the way, especially when the path is dark and the risks are many, and the fear is great, and the route is unsure?)  “How can we know the way?”  Quite. Read More

Martyrdom of Stephen – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Play

geoffrey 150xPreached the Day after the Boston Marathon Bombings.

Every year it strikes me, as if for the first time.  On December 25 we celebrate the wondrous story of the birth of Jesus.  We meditate on the coming of the Prince of Peace.  We gaze adoringly at the crèche, at the Holy Family – the love between Mary and Joseph and their beloved child. Read More

Listen and Look While You Weep – Br. Luke Ditewig

Play

Br. Luke DitewigBr. Luke Ditewig assures us that Jesus Christ comes; the question is not “if” but “how.”  In what “surprising yet ordinary” ways have you noticed God calling your name? How might looking for God in the ordinary make you more aware of God’s presence already taking place in your life?

This sermon is currently only available in audio format.

Joy Comes in the Morning -åÊBr. David Vryhof

Play

David Vryhof SSJE  2010

Alleluia!  Christ is Risen!

CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED!  ALLELUIA!!

The psalmist says that “weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning!” (Ps. 30:5)  And there is no more joyous morning for Christian people than this morning, the morning of Resurrection!

Through Lent and Holy Week, we have symbolically passed through a “night of weeping” in which we followed Jesus on the Way of suffering and death so that we might share with him the joy that comes on this morning!   We are disciples of this Way that he both lived and taught – the way of dying and rising.   We have identified ourselves with him, and with this Way – and we have found it to be the Way that leads to Life! Read More

Music and Photographs from Easter

Play

7074228989_9f71e5257f_zClick on the links below to listen to musical selections from the Easter Vigil at the Monastery:

The Exsultet
Psalm 33:1-11
Psalm 46
Psalm 33:12-22
The Song of Moses
Psalm 122
The First Song of Isaiah
Psalm 42:1-7
Psalm 30
Psalm 98
The Litany
Jesus Christ is Risen Today

 

Click here to view a gallery of images from the Great Vigil of Easter 2012. Read More