Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Here we are halfway into Holy Week. All the cries from Palm Sunday have quieted down. By now the disciples have heard all the rumors of an imminent arrest of Jesus. Perhaps they are wondering if they can return to their jobs as fishermen. Perhaps they are thinking of an exit strategy. Meanwhile, the world is still turning. The men and women of Jerusalem are rushing to their jobs or preparing for the Passover. The children still have school. Life goes on.
This past Sunday I explained that the "Three Holy Days" that we call the Triduum are often thought of as a three-act play. I believe I may have put too much distance between us and the happenings of Holy Week with this simplified explanation. Holy Week is better experienced as a divine drama that we can't intellectually understand. It is not a play to be observed from a comfortable distance so we can tell our coworkers whether it was interesting or not. It's also not a kind of Christian open house where we breeze through and glance around to see if it's worth an investment.
Holy Week is about love and death and new life. It's about the pain of saying goodbye and the Lord's love in giving those who love him a way to be with him always--closer than their own breath. It's about witnessing Jesus' love, which is so big it pushes his arms wide open on the cross. It's about the holy day of stillness when there is nothing to do and little to say. And it's about resurrection--new life--death to life.
In a recent Easter sermon, Archbishop Rowan Williams said of the resurrection: "How do we know that it is true? We learn and assimilate its truth by the risk of living it." We learn all the deep mysteries finally by living our lives. Therefore, as we come to the Triduum (the three days before Easter), don't read about these sacred acts; don't analyze them; and for your soul's sake, don't ignore them. Know their truth by living them. It's not about wonderful music or sermons or flowers. It's about love and death and resurrection. Not just Jesus'--but yours.
*Disclaimer: Much of this post was influenced by our Bishop's Holy Week message from last year.
See ya Sunday!
Blessings & Peace
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