Sunday, April 13, 2014
As this Holy Week begins, resurrection, new life, is evident all
around, in every flower and blooming, leafing tree, where only a
few short weeks ago, there was only barrenness and it seemed
as if Spring would never come. Yet, here it is, once again, shining
with the promise that lay dormant in the quiet buds on recently-
ice-covered branches...alive with brimming life, reassuring us once
again, yet again, that out of death comes life...out of the darkest
places in our lives comes the grace of hope...out of the tombs in
which we seem to lie enshrouded comes the wonder, the joy, the
hope, the gift of beginning again.
For Christians, this week is a time to walk the last difficult road
with Jesus of Nazareth, the road which went from the seeming
triumph of Palm Sunday to his arrest, torture, humiliation, trial,
and finally, his death by that execution method so favored by the
Romans- crucifixion. For those not among the faithful- the
Christian faithful- this often seems like an exercise in masochism
of the worst sort. But that misunderstanding only underscores the
very real journey which we make each Holy Week...the journey
which takes us into the deepest, darkest valley, into pain and
suffering, into the reality which is life...the journey which, at last
and with wonderful clarity, takes us to an empty cross, an empty
tomb, and the joyous realization that transformation, new life,
resurrection, can and does happen in this world of ours.
For this remembrance, anamnesis in Greek- living remembrance-
of the happenings of Jesus' final days is, for us humans, nothing
less than a living reminder of the realities of life...of the fact that
life is indeed filled with dark places, with pain, with dreadful and
dark tombs, with deaths of many sorts. To deny this is to deny our
humanity. To deny this is to wall ourselves off from the very
emotions which link us to one another in our shared humanity.
To deny this is to forget that we are all one and part of the One
that is over all and in all and around all and part of all.
And the denouement, the culmination of this week of being real
with one another and with ourselves, of recognizing and opening
ourselves to and acknowledging the pain of living is the glory and
beauty and wonder and amazement and hope of Easter, when we
celebrate- with mouths agape in total amazement- the surprise of
God in the resurrection. New life DOES happen...new beginnings
ARE possible...the reality of resurrection is all around us and in us
and among us. And so, on Easter Sunday morning, the traditional
greeting among Christians is one of affirmation and hope: "Christ
is risen! He is risen indeed!", reminding us that this same new
life is pulsating in us.
May you have a blessed journey through Holy Week and may the
wondrous love of God through the peace of Christ be with you all.