Monday, Feb. 29th 2016

Leap Day and the Resurrection: Reflection by Br. Thomas

Leap Day, February 29th, is an artifact that dates back to 46 BC, when Julius Caesar was informed that the solar year was 365.25 days long. To account for the residual quarter of a day, an extra day was added to the calendar every four years. At that time, February was the last month of the year. We could then consider February 29th perhaps as a day dedicated to leaping—even though today’s first and second readings speak of “plunging into” and “hurling him down headlong.” It seems as if many of the Christian mysteries can be understood in terms of leaping—and not just the leaping of the African impala, an amazing creature that can jump to a height of over ten feet and cover a distance greater than thirty feet, nor that of Superman, “able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”

No, we must might think of the “Beloved” in the Song of Songs. Hippolytus of Rome, the most important Roman theologian of the 3rd century, meditates on the verse from the Song of Songs, on Jesus’ saving actions: “Behold my beloved comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills,” writes: “What is this leaping? The Logos leapt from heaven into the womb of the Virgin, he leapt from the womb of his mother on to the Cross, from the Cross into Hades, and from Hades once more back onto the earth. O the new Resurrection! And he leapt from earth into heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Father. And he will leap on to the earth with glory to bring judgment!”

It remains for us, during this Lenten season, to prepare for our own leap on Easter Sunday by dying and rising with our Risen Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ


Thomas Sullivan, OSB, is monk of Conception Abbey. He serves the community as Librarian of Conception Abbey and Seminary Library and Professor of History and Humanities at Conception Seminary College.

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