We celebrated the Via Lucis or Stations of the Resurrection for Easter.
First Station – The Earthquake & Resurrection (Matthew 28:2-6)
We no longer need fear the specter of death. The grave will not consume us. No one need live in vain. Like the apostles we are called as witnesses to the saving truth. Christ becomes the pattern of our discipleship: we must die with Christ if we hope to live with him.
Second Station – The Women at the Tomb (Mark 16:1-8)
While not seen in the tomb, the Risen Lord made brand new would appear to his friends. He wants to fill the caverns of our hearts with his loving presence. Love makes possible life and in Jesus is the greatest love of all. Love is stronger than the grave. Love is forever because life is forever.
Third Station – Peter & the Beloved Disciple at the Tomb (John 20:2-10)
John enters and we are told that “he saw and believed.” Peter must be healed from his three-fold denial of Christ. That is why his vision is blurred. But John traveled with the women to the hill where our Lord was crucified. He has remained faithful with eyes wide open. Jesus has done as he said he would do.
Fourth Station – Mary Magdalene Encounters the Risen Lord (John 20:11-18)
Just as angels once announced to shepherds his joyous birth in the cave used as a stable; now they proclaim that he is risen from the cave of the tomb. He is born to eternal life. It is too much to believe. But then the one Mary Magdalene takes for the gardener calls her name and she knows the impossible has come true.
Fifth Station – On the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-27)
We are all pilgrims on a journey. We often feel defeated and abandoned. Many are afraid. There is no path to new life that does not pass through the Cross. Our true home is heaven but that in no way invalidates the presence of Jesus that we encounter along the Way.
Sixth Station – In the Breaking of the Bread (Luke 24:28-35)
Jesus revealed himself to them in the “Breaking of the Bread,” an expression used in the early Church for the Mass. We encounter the REAL PRESENCE of Jesus in the Eucharist. Just as he disappeared from their sight; Christ is hidden from ours behind the accidents of bread and wine. We receive Jesus, whole and complete.
Seventh Station – The Upper Room (John 20:19-23)
Jesus is not restrained by locks and doors even though he must still be made welcome at the door to the human heart. We are called to repent and to believe. He extends his peace to the apostles and tells them not to be afraid. He will breathe upon them and empower them to do his works.
Eighth Station – Doubting Thomas (John 20:24-29)
We come to know the Risen Lord through the testimony of the Church, the Word proclaimed and the sacraments. We do not simply know ABOUT Jesus but KNOW Jesus through a saving relationship of faith. Our faith might also be tested, but by God’s grace it can grow stronger still.
Ninth Station – By the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-14)
The Lord calls to them from along the shore and guides them in setting their nets. Everything changes. Suddenly their nets are filled to the breaking point. This reminds us that without Christ, we can do nothing. With Christ, there is everything to gain. Jesus will continue to feed his people. He will make us into fishers of men.
Tenth Station – Jesus Forgives Peter (John 21:15-19)
We are not always perfect saints, but Peter reminds us that even the weakest instruments can be made strong and valuable in Christ. There is no sin or failure that God’s grace cannot heal. We may not be the Christians we are supposed to be, but God is not finished with us yet.
Eleventh Station – The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20)
We are a people sent on mission to proclaim the Good News— that God so loved us that he sent his only-begotten Son— the Christ who laid down his life and then took it back up again for you and me. We usher souls into the kingdom.
Twelfth Station – Ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:6-12)
While we might not see him with our mortal eyes, we worship with a living remembrance, not nostalgia for one who is gone but making present that which is remembered. Jesus is made present in his person and in his activity. It is this Risen Lord that we receive in Holy Communion.
Thirteenth Station – Mary & the Disciples Wait in Prayer (Acts 1:12-13)
Mary saw her Son die; it is fitting that she should witness the Risen Lord. Catholics still gather with Mary as they await her Son. How many rosaries have been said, especially before Mass? The Mother of the Redeemer is now the Mother of all the redeemed.
Fourteenth Station – The Holy Spirit & Pentecost (Acts 2:1-14)
The division of Babel is reversed. The language of the Spirit will make us one people, united in Christ. The apostles will perpetuate the saving ministry and insure the transmission of the deposit of faith. The Holy Spirit will come upon the Church and never leave her.