Last night after music practice we sat in church, in front of the altar, in silence…and FELT that there was something special about this night. We checked the calendar, and sure enough, it was the first full moon after the Spring equinox: the time of Passover.
Outside, the moon was stunning: huge, bright, white, shining, round. We couldn’t help but be reminded of the Host we receive in Holy Communion – a portal through millennia, the past made present, the Body of Christ broken for us.
“Why is this night different from all other nights?”
We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord, our God, took us out from there with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm….
Tomorrow we will celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper, remembering Jesus’ own final celebration of the Passover in which, in a moment merged with the future, he offered the bread as his own Body, and the wine as his own Blood. Thus began his Passion: the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, the fulfilment of prophecy, the completion of the Passover, and the freeing of those who will accept the gift of his life, from slavery of soul.
Easter, when we celebrate the triumph of life in the Resurrection, falls each year on the Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox: when Passover begins. For us for whom the sacred memorial of Christ’s sacrifice in the Eucharist is the heart and height of our faith, it seems profoundly Providential that the appointed time for the Paschal Triduum – the three days’ commemoration of Christ’s life, death and resurrection – is determined by the path of the planets: such that the bright full moon can appear as a cosmic icon of Holy Communion, in which we remember and receive Jesus’ gift of himself. It seems as if it was all part of God’s plan of salvation from the beginning.
I believe in a God who multiplies bread
In a God who lights stars overhead
I believe in a God who bursts the bud
I believe in a God who was nailed to wood
I believe in a God who formed me in the womb
Who knew me before I was born
I believe in a God who has good plans for us
I believe in a God who carried a cross
I believe in a God of self-sacrifice
Who gave His blood that we may rise.