Easter Sunday | Year B

Posted on March 31, 2024 View all Gospel Reflection

Easter is revealed in returning to gardens!

The meaning of paradise is a garden, from the Latin paradisus meaning park, orchard, the Garden of Eden; a walled garden.1

Yet, there was a Death Warning in the Garden of Eden.

The idea that it was an apple that caused the fall of the human race is because in Latin, apple is “malum” and “malum” is also the Latin word for “evil.” And like Eve, I bite into the apple offered to me, and try to use my own resources to come up with a solution and how miserably I fail.2

Returning to Eden means discovering the source of our immortality in Jesus Christ because at Easter the barrier of sin is now rolled away. 

The prayer used by priests when putting on the stole is: “Lord, restore the stole of immortality which I lost through the collusion of our first parents, and unworthy as I am to approach thy sacred mysteries, may I yet gain eternal joy.”

What fruit are we eating? No longer the fruit of sin but now the fruit of Mary’s womb, Jesus, who says, by eating my body and drinking my blood, sacramentally, in the Eucharist, there will be life in you and I will raise you up.

The Garden of Gethsemane

Returning to Gethsemane can be encapsulated in a word the Germans have to describe a particular feeling that’s been lingering within many of us in these times. They call it weltschmerz, while the French refer to it as the mal du siècle to describe a very familiar feeling: a melancholy and an ache when we realize the world is not as it should be—that selfishness and greed pervade the nations, that humans are capable of indescribable acts of violence against each other.3

There, in that garden, Jesus took all that is wrong in this sinful world upon himself. 

However, Easter tells us that God’s future has invaded our present times.  Romans 8:28 promises us:  “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” 

Some say there were Easter lilies growing in the Garden of Gethsemane as lilies can be found mentioned prominently in the Bible. (Hosea 14:5; Luke 12:2).

No matter what happens, with Easter, hope springs eternal with Jesus’ resurrection and our promise of immortality for those who love Christ.

3. John Chapter 19 describes the third garden of Easter: the garden of victory!

Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early while it was still dark.

A lady said: This Easter, I will seek out another Vigil service where I can sit in the dark with my candle and be like Mary Magdalene, waiting at the empty tomb and listening for Jesus to call my name and say again: “I am alive!”4

This happens at the Easter Vigil! 

Returning to the Victory Garden means returning to Galilee (Matthew 28:10)

Galilee is the place where everything began. There Jesus had called the apostles when they were fishermen. To return to Galilee means to reread everything on the basis of the cross and its victory, fearlessly: ‘Do not be afraid.’ To reread everything – Jesus’s preaching, his miracles, the new community, the excitement and the defections, even the betrayal –from the perspective and power of Easter, which is a new beginning.

For each of us, ‘Go to Galilee’ means rediscovering our baptism as a living spring, drawing new energy from the sources of our faith and our Christian experience.5

Easter is the power of the Risen Jesus that knows no bounds to be believed, taught and preached as the Good News of the Gospel.

Easter is paradise unleashed in the Resurrection of Jesus!

1.    Grace, at Wordfoolery

2.    Robert Clements, Still Biting Eve’s Apple?, Bob’s banter, blog

3.    Chine McDonald, World Weary in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christianity Today, 02/06/2023

4.     Heidi Havercamp, Resurrection of the Lord, The Christian Century, Apr 2023

5.    Brian Purfield, Return to Galilee, Thinking Faith, Jesuit blog, 2018