The long march of the Easter cycle is an ever-tightening spiral.
In the period leading up to Easter, the Church's holiest day, time circles in on itself. Intensity increases over time.
First there is the long, patient sweep of Lent.
Towards its end comes the looping back of Holy Week.
The spiral tightens at the Triduum.
The cadences come quicker–faster and faster as we near the dawn of Easter.
Even in the Easter Vigil, as near as we can get in our liturgy to the Resurrection moment without quite arriving yet, we continue to spin toward the central mystery of the Christian faith.
As we come careening toward Resurrection through a series of readings that give the whole history of our faith, the final turn in the liturgy takes our very lives.
“Through the Paschal mystery, dear friends, we are buried with Christ by Baptism into his death, and raised with him to newness of life.”
It is here, through baptism, that the Resurrection is finally revealed. That it finally makes sense.
In this final turn, the spiral finally reaches back on itself and explodes outward in every dimension it can find.
The liturgy may be man-made, but its pattern helps us encounter God-made mystery and meaning.
The whole shape of this season points to its center.
Happy spiralling, friends.
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