Yesterday, Good Friday, we meditated on Passover and the promise of deliverance it offers, with implications, of course, for the commemorations of Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

Children deserve hope. Photo by Siddhant Soni on Unsplash

We especially focused on children because they are central at a Passover celebration and it is to them that the story of hope and Exodus and freedom from slavery and “Egypt” is to be told. The young need and deserve stories of hope and liberation.

Maundy Thursday tells us what living well is all about: Washing the feet of one another, especially the poor.  Letting our capacity for compassion come to fruition.  Love.

Tomorrow is Easter and that, too, is a story of liberation. Resurrection is a story of deliverance from the fear of death—therefore an invitation to live life fully. And gratefully. And lovingly. 

“Resurrection of Christ.” Painting by Noël Coypel. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

The great psychologist and cultural historian Otto Rank tells us that most of human history has been determined by great “immortality projects” like building pyramids that will guarantee our immortality.  Building of empires, of Towers with one’s name on it, of money and power that is more than any individual needs or can spend—all this detracts us from love and living. 

Such immortality projects are at bottom, he believes, born of a fear of death and/or a denial of death.

Rank, though Jewish and not Christian, credits Paul and Jesus with the “most revolutionary idea” that humanity has ever come up with, namely, that resurrection applies to all. 

All the effort to bury the pharaoh just right in a massive pyramid so that his subjects can participate vicariously in his immortality can be thrown out the window now because resurrection has been democratized. That is the meaning of Easter.

“The Conversion of Saul, fresco by Michelangelo, 1542–1545.” Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain

Empires can chill out. Greed for infinite amounts of money and power can cease. People can live instead. And love. And heal. And celebrate living. That would be a revolution, wouldn’t it? It was certainly a revolution for St. Paul who was the first Christian to write about his encounter with the risen Christ and how 500 others had had their own encounters. (See 1 Cor. 15.)

For him, the experience was enough to knock him off his horse, render him blind for a while, and totally turn his life around from being a zealous killer of Christians to preaching about love between Jews and gentiles, men and women, and among all peoples.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 35ff.

To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner image: Hope and liberation: traditional Ukrainian pysanky, with their motifs of nature and renewal, have become a symbol of the cultural resistance against the Russian invasion. Photo by Keith Ewing on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

What do Easter and resurrection mean to you?

Recommended Reading

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

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16 thoughts on “Easter 2023”

  1. Avatar

    “Our Unpleasurable Trials are Meant to be the Biggest Gifts of All”

    Maybe we should not so tightly define grace, ‘God’s grace,’ if everything is a gift to begin with. Are we not also ‘graced’ by the trials and tribulations that take us down the path to the realization of the ‘resurrection’, where neither fear nor death can ever ‘bind us? We miss the fact that our unpleasurable trials are meant to be the biggest gifts of all, as they continue to ‘point us’ and direct us back to the Living God in ‘living communion in the now’. Without our trials and tribulations, we would be living in a ‘static state’ and have no reason to change and transform ourselves. Did Jesus not also say ‘spare me if it is Your Will Father’? So, there is no ‘sin’ in asking to avoid pain of suffering, but we may miss realization of the ‘grace and gifts’ that our suffering may beget us.

    It is safe to say that we have great difficulty in understanding the ‘mind of God’ when our perspective is so tightly focused on our ‘earth bound and body conscious’ state of awareness. “O God of mine and ours, please ‘grace us’ with the gift of awareness of You and Your presence in the here and now. It is Your Love alone that gets us through the day, the day that passes into Your Eternal Presence.” — BB 11 21 22.

  2. Avatar

    Part of what Easter and resurrection means to me is that I am continually being led towards what it means to spiritually choose to live. To become more awake, more enlightened. To live from my own Christ-likeness. I come to the Father/Mother Ground of Being not “by”–but ALONGSIDE Christ. On my way I continuously need to investigate what’s in the way that is keeping me from living a joyous, creative, truthful, just, compassionate and loving Godly and God-given life. Can’t play the “blame it on others game” here. Many times I am not even aware of what my glaring blind spots are. What am I being shown? Is it the fear of suffering many little ego deaths–or maybe the gnawing fears of being responsible for making many living compassionate and loving choices that would greatly take me out of my “comfort zone”? Or maybe that I even be willing to be stretched to bite into the big one, if needs be or am called, to die in service of compassion, justice and truth? I find that I am continuously in many small and large ways crossed–but are they crosses to bear or are they crosses to help me cross over on my way towards enlightenment. Thank you Jesus for your living example!

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Lee, you touched a tender spot in me. I don’t claim to be a Christian – so much misunderstanding and baggage around that label.
      I consider myself a Christ-Follower – as you mentioned ” To live from my own Christ-likeness.” And that we travel life’s journey
      “ALONGSIDE Christ.” Oh YES!
      I may borrow your working of the CROSS symbol for my Easter Message.
      ” I find that I am continuously in many small and large ways crossed–but are they crosses to bear or are they crosses to help me cross over on my way towards enlightenment.” Thank you, Lee.

      1. Avatar

        Thank you, Carol! My fingers and toes are doubly crossed for you–and with my whole being, I know–that your Easter message will “go–in every way over–well! All the best, Lee

        1. Avatar
          Carol Vaccariello

          Lee, Thanks for your prediction and your prayer. All was and is very well. Sometimes I surprise myself. Do You?
          When I live in Christ and pay attention to the Angelic Messengers, life is an exciting adventure of joys and sorrows, highs and lows, Via Positive and Via Negative – all good as we step into our Creative aspect and Transform our lives into that which we never knew possible.

  3. Avatar

    In meditating on the paschal mystery of death and life, I randomly opened Matthew Fox: Essential Writing on Creation Spirituality and landed on his interview with Rupert Sheldrake. So here is something to ponder on this sacred conjunction of Passover, Ramadan and Easter. “The modern field has replaced the old soul concept…” Sheldrake goes on to distinguish between the energetic principle of Spirit and the formative principle, the Logos, of creation. (pg.80) The dynamism of this concept reminded me of the yin/yang symbol – all life/death/life is a fluid process of Inter-Being, a term popularized by Thich Nhat Hanh. In his book, The Other Shore, Thay speaks of emptiness pointing out: “The word emptiness shouldn’t scare us…It is precisely because our body is emptiness that it can manifest. Our body is full of everything, full of life.” (pg39) These two readings speak to me of the mystery of the passage of time into eternity in this season of life.

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Thank you for sharing your ability to bring ideas together.
      I ponder these ideas of the Emptiness that holds the Everything,
      the Now that contains Eternity. I wonder, do we move into a Future
      or do we live into a Now and find the Future? Just wondering?
      Thanks again for sharing and stirring rich thoughts.

  4. Carol Kilby

    Ahhh, the democratization of resurrection. Love this mixture of languages – political and spiritual – because of course the spiritual is political and the … you get it.
    Resurrection to me in 2023 is the promise of human consciousness rising above this culture of death FREEING the whole Earth community from violence and competition. Resurrection is the call of the future to find some way through this wilderness of convenience and restore the planetary family. Tonight we will build an evolutionary altar- the ritual The Dance of Transformation, like the Resurrection story, calls us to the via transformativa, to compassion for the future. Blessings to you this holy weekend Matt, Rich, and the whole DM team

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Hi Carol, Thank you for your thoughtful reflection on Resurrection 2023.
      Via Transformative, the Dance of Transformation, dancing our future into our now?
      Are they distinct? You think? How does it all work? So much to ponder.
      Do you know where your thoughts come from? Sometimes, I don’t know where my thoughts
      come from. I was reading Brian Swimme’s Cosmogenesis
      yesterday and paraphrasing, he said something like this,”I taught that entire class
      listening to my teaching, filled with feelings stirring deeply in my being, nervous
      about looking up and connecting with the student who asked the profound question.
      Did I go too far? Why did I say those things?” He was describing his transformation
      toward freedom to express what he knew he knew, but had not yet verbalized.
      More scientists are seeking this freedom, like Sheldrake, Lipton and more.
      I look forward to hearing about your Evolutionary Altar experience. Thank you for waking
      these connections in me and others with your comment. Blessed Be!

  5. Avatar

    Easter in the Christian tradition reminds me that all genuine spiritual traditions believe in the resurrection of our eternal souls during our earthly journeys of our physical bodies. Our
    True Heart Selves~Sacred Eternal Souls are Always within and among Us within the ongoing Loving Diverse Oneness of the Cosmic Body of Christ….

  6. Avatar

    Thanks to the two Carols for posing such provocative questions and ideas.
    Building an evolutionary altar captures my imagination. Blessings on our
    world and our evolutionary journey. It’s good to know that we are not alone!

  7. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    The season of Spring speaks to me of the first creative, transformative cyclical movements of resurrection. Slowly what lies hidden, inherently deeply within, begins to break ground… reaching towards the light in order to become… to come into being itself. There is a new awareness of self in relationship with all that which surrounds oneself… as apart of oneself. The Seasons that follow reflect these movements of change that are the ever unfolding, evolving, emerging and converging processes of this mystery of resurrection. For me personally, when one aligns and comes into harmony with these natural Seasonal movements, one can experience this mystery of resurrection. All of nature… creation itself, teaches us the wisdom of this resurrection mystery… for those whom have eyes to see and ears to hear.

  8. Avatar

    My heart is made stronger by listening to Matthew’s daily message, with its wide-ranging sources of truth about Love and its guiding nature in this time of confusion. My heart is made happier by reading all of these comments, showing me that brothers and sisters are also thinking about the truth of God and God’s Love for us as we sojourn here on Earth. Thank you, all, for what you share, and Matthew, for bringing us together here. Bless you, Elder Brother, for giving your heart and mind to help us grow in Love! May all of us in the world be blessed on this very special day, to listen for God’s voice and to hear his deep Love resonate within us ~ Praise God!

  9. Cynthia Greb

    This is Cynthia, part of the DM team.

    Matthew shared in his video his concerns about coastal flooding which is likely to happen as global warming continues and the seas rise. Quite a few years ago, before global warming was so prominent in our consciousness, I had a dream. In this dream many, many people–whole villages of people–were migrating toward the center of the continent. Everyone was calm. This seemed to be taking place in Africa. I had the feeling at that time that they were migrating due to concerns about both flooding and radiation.

    What I loved about this dream was the calmness. I’m hazarding a guess that things would not be as peaceful in our country. But then again, I don’t believe as many people in the U.S. would have the foresight to move. People get very attached to their homes. In Africa I imagine there are a greater number of people who are still attuned to intuition and dreams. Or perhaps the village shaman would have a vision that he shared with the people.

    Perhaps if we learn to listen to our intuition, we can calmly move to wherever we need to be.

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