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Easter Sunday Sunrise

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

Before dawn on Easter Sunday morning, I laced up my hiking shoes and slipped through the gate at the bottom of East Rock Park.  I was alone as I climbed up the ‘Giant Steps Trail.’  Birdsong, the chittering of squirrels and my footfalls was all that I heard as I climbed.  Stopping frequently, I would look up at the steep trail and then turn and look back to see how far I had come – to reassure myself that I was indeed making progress.  Then, I would turn my eyes upward, resolutely tighten my grip on the railing and continue climbing.  All the while, I was reflecting on how far I had come in this past year.  Where I had encountered God, where I had moved away from God, and the graces, blessings, challenges, and yes, those in-between times when “Jesus took the wheel” of my life. It was my yearly “life in review” or “Examen” set against the backdrop of an early morning hike on Easter Morning – an apt metaphor for the rocky terrain and unexpected turns of this past year. 

When I reached the summit of East Rock, I stepped out onto a grassy area and found a spot facing east to await the approaching dawn.  As I waited, I slowly scrolled through my year – pausing now and again to talk with God about it or to tune into the movement of the spirit within my heart.  Images of the year flowed by as I prayerfully reviewed the year:

. . . a mossy labyrinth at the Eastern Point Retreat House,

. . . our dining room table at Eld Street where we sit to share our day,

. . . the warm hand of a sister who has just breathed her last breath,

. . . the faces of our vocations team on the computer screen,

. . . a crosswalk in Memphis,

. . . a Christmas card from a friend,

. . . and on and on the images kept coming.

The year was suffused with God’s presence, grace, guidance, correction, healing, and love.  For all of these memories, I give thanks. 

As the sun began to rise, I called to mind the story of Mary of Magdala in the garden and I reflected on how her life changed the moment she heard Jesus speak her name, “Mary.”  For her, it was the beginning of a totally new life.  She was called to preach the Good News of the Resurrection and her life was never the same again.  So, it is with each of us, who have been called by God.  We will never be the same, if we trust and let Jesus lead. 

So, I invite you to place yourself in the garden with Jesus.  Listen as he calls your name.  How will you respond?  Then, imagine a year from now, as you watch the sun rise on Easter morning, how do you want to have lived your “one wild and precious life”?

9 thoughts on “Easter Sunday Sunrise

  1. Beautiful reflection, June! Thank you for sharing, and for offering questions for our own personal ruminating and conversation with God. Blessings!

  2. Thank you, June, for the sharing…beautiful! And,
    thanks for all you do in vocation work! S. Martina

  3. Yes, we are called to Preach the Resurrection Good News of Life, Compassion, Hope, Joy and Peace just as Jesus encouraged his Followers. Thank You, June for sharing looking forward and looking back to see how far you have come. A great suggestion.

  4. I loved your reflection on your year in review. A beautiful way to see the connections between your activities and God’s activity in your life. Thanks.

  5. Your message was a good reminder to look back and reflect forward how far I have come and how God was leading the way.
    Thanks, June
    Rose Mary

  6. Dear June,
    So grateful for your reflection and acknowledging the blessings of God’s presence always on the path with you. I knew way back that someday you would be a great spiritual leader. May the Spirit continue to guide you in your ministry and we all pray for more vocations to the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
    Love and gratitude,

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