April 09, 2007

Easter (according to John Y.)

Jopeng (a lay missionary brother from The Servants of the Word) and I groaned (simultaneously, albeit separately) when John said that now that it's Easter, it doesn't mean that lent is over--the discipline of lent is still there but it's coupled with the joy of Easter.

Lent. isn't. over. ?! Huh?

Trust someone like John Yocum, an Elder from The Servants of the Word with a Ph.D in Theology and with faculty stints in Oxford and currently at Loyola School of Theology, to put Easter in its proper perspective with his usual really softly spoken erudition. (He did say it with a smile on his face, so we weren't really sure if he was kidding, at first; later, of course, we knew he wasn't kidding.)

But no matter my reaction to John's earlier statement, it was something that was thought-provoking, insightful and life-giving--and it was something that was, ultimately, so simple you start to ask yourself why you never thought of it in the first place.

Just because it is Easter already doesn't mean that we go back to our old wordly ways; that would negate everything about Easter! That, in a very poorly-worded sentence, is what John meant (I think) by lent continuing despite Easter. It wouldn't be Easter if we all went back to our old lives--pre-lent; it wouldn't be Easter if we all started doing everything we were doing before lent came in. Easter is the season of new-ness yet that new-ness would be absolutely meaningless if we went back to our old ways. And that, in John 's exhortation, is precisely why we celebrate Easter because the old man has died and the new man has been born.

So, after collecting my jaw off the floor, I rejoiced!

Happy 2nd day* of Easter!

* John quipped that if we found lent brutal because of its length (bad pun mine, not his)--40 days--then Easter should be much more interesting because it is 10 days longer--there are 50 days of the Easter season before Pentecost; so that means there are 50 days of rejoicing without letting go of the discipline of lent.


Ella del Rosario said...

Hindi talaga ito masyadong kinaya ng powers ko. Although I like the point that if we go back to our worldly ways then it would not be a new life we're celebrating in Christ now. Siguro masyado lang akong excited magpakasaya. Thanks for this reminder, Dr. John Yocum. (pakisabi na lang Ted...)

TED said...

Well, John was speaking as an elder of the SOW; I told him it's a good thing I'm not part of SOW so I don't have to follow you, even if I believe you. He had a good laugh over that; of course, Jopeng doesn't have that luxury.

But honestly, I appreciated the lenten discipline--it purged me of so many things, and I'm minded to keep to a part of it. Definitely fasting on fridays (no longer on wednesdays), not too many DVDs (he he he), and maybe, just maybe, cut down a bit on coffee.