Since I discovered Laurent de la Hyre’s ‘Christ Appears to the Three Marys’ (1606) a year ago, it has become my favorite Easter image. I love the joyous surprise on every face–including the face of Jesus! I love that their hands are not quite touching him as he ascends into glory: radiantly alive, at once in our world of time and space and transcending it. This painting is Easter in a bag!
And so is this poem by one of my favorite poets, e.e. cummings:
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
May this Easter find you, like the Marys, like Jesus himself, overwhelmed with joy “for most this amazing” gift of life, from “most this amazing” God! Brothers, sisters, friends, Christ is risen!