04/21/2014 03:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Paschal Mystery 2014


It's Easter weekend and I'm agitated as always, torn between a desire to listen to the Hallelujah Chorus being sung by a choir and contempt for a priest who will say we are sinners redeemed on this day. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the planet are celebrating something that never happened, at least in my playbook. And this unnerves me. It rattles my bones. Jesus did not die to save my soul. I will not collude in that myth. I have metabolized his teachings -- as I have the Buddha's words, as I do the earth's messages -- eating every insight that feeds my radiance.

If it is true, what they say he said, then I am already ONE with the Creator. I am already a healer. I can rise from the dead. "What you have seen me do, you too can do and more..." What I celebrate this day is the power we ALL have to create, to dance with the Infinite, to receive the light and impart the light. This story is not about the half-human, half-divine man who lived centuries ago. This story is about the half-human, half-divine people who live today. It's OUR story; it's the fan for our flames which are dying embers after a long winter.

Look at the roses. On the one vine is the budding flower, next to the one who has spent her radiance. One falls, the other rises. Death is just a beginning for the one who has gone. Farewell, Annie O'Flaherty. Farewell, Marge Phillips. Farewell all you roses who have shared your beauty and gone on to the next. Happy rising, everyone, as the rock rolls back, as your fingers turn to fire, as you notice and claim the creator as self.

Paschal Mystery 2014

The story of a rising
from death to life
twenty centuries old
and it's still in the air

My guess: it is not
about a Jew who rose
from the tomb
nor about the Israelites
bring spared God's wrath.

The story is bread
for our morning toast,
to counter the headlines
that make us forget.

One look around
and you see on the vine
the rose that is dying
near the bud taking shape.

What is this story
trying to tell us? That
dying is just a beginning
to the dead...

that those boulders
that stop us can be moved
with our minds?

that if one rose up
so can the many?

The man said a few times
in a few different ways,
"What you have seen me do,
you too can do and more."

Then why cry out asking for help?
No matter what sorrows
have lain you down,
no matter the grief
that has broken your legs

This is the day to sing Hallelujah!
This is the day to rise again!

The unfurling petals
don't weep for the dying
they broadcast their essence,
they trumpet their joy--
their fragrance like balm
on the wounds of the world.

Jan Phillips 2014