Resurrection

I admit, I am a bit remiss in commemorating the most important day in history on this old blog of mine.  But I hope you all can forgive me.

After all, that’s kind of the point of Easter.  Forgiveness.  And with it, unimaginable joy.  The single astonishing fact that everything changes.  Everything.  We become unrecognizably (Luke 24:15-16) new in that forgiveness, since we share in the life of Him who rose.

It’s impossible to over-emphasize how important the Resurrection is.  It is the very essence of Christianity, its core.  And it is the most unimaginable thing. Impossible even.  Except, nothing is impossible for God.

Some people say these are dark days for Christianity.  And in some ways, maybe they are.  Much time is spent defending the Faith.  I admire such efforts, but the formal apologist in me, perhaps from naïveté, perhaps not, is already weary.  The poet in me wonders…

There are plenty of good arguments for God’s existence.  There’s even one good one for His nonexistence.  We can debate it all day.  We can argue Biblical literalism until the cows come home.  We can pit faith against reason (though admittedly that’s a downright stupid debate) for years.  Do we ever get anywhere?  Maybe?  Or In the end, do we all end up believing what we want to believe?

It tires me sometimes.  I want to lock myself in the Upper Room and let Him wash my feet.  I long for the grace to die to myself, leaving everything with Him on the cross.  I want to run away, to fly, borne on His wings, to home, to heaven.  But there is work to be done.  Is it the work of aligning words into armies?  I never was a warrior…  Shall I try harder?  Or try to live, to love so splendidly by His grace that my life becomes my weapon, a weapon of non-destruction, a contradiction and an oxymoron?  A weapon of self-sacrifice?

You can call me a hopeless romantic, sacrificing my intellect and potential, a slave to my emotion.  But as I gaze at the Paschal fire, I am filled with a sudden childlike wonder that surpasses mere happenstance.  Moments such as that enshrine a strangely sacred and primal recognition of a startling reality, something more than mere emotion.

Peace.  Oh, peace somehow.  That all might know Him.  Until then they will wonder why we laughter at the cold, cruel night.  But we will laugh.  And we will cry.  And our shouts will become the intersections, science and religion, faith and reason, atheist and theist, real and yet beyond real, Body and Blood, brother and sister, all, all one in His love.  For He lives, undeniably, not as a memory, but literally.  And He’s calling,

Calling…

“Follow me.”

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Brief Thoughts on the Triduum

At long last we have come to the pinnacle of the liturgical year: the Paschal Triduum.  Herein we commemorate the three most important days in all of history.

Not everyone observes the Triduum, or Lent for that matter.  However, I think to ignore them completely is missing out on quite a bit of the story.  Yes, the focus of our lives is the Resurrection, that one essential, joyous, incredible thing on which our faith is founded.  But the road to Easter joy leads through tears and agony.  It leads through the desert, to the cross.  To rise from the dead, He had to die first.

Well, He didn’t have to.  But He did.  And for that we owe Him everything.

Moreover, there is a profound and important message to be found in the Last Supper.  It was on this night that Jesus gave us His very Body and Blood.  Like, for real, how crazy is that?  None of us deserve that in the least, but that’s how much He wants to be unified with Him.

It was on this night that He washed the feet of His disciples and told us to do likewise.  No matter what circumstances, no matter how we feel about them, we are called to wash the feet of the Baptist, the Catholic, the Jew, the Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the agnostic, the atheist, the farmer, the rich CEO, the thief, the drug addict, the stinky through-hiker, the person everyone hangs out with, the person no one will talk to, the easliy-angered, the class clown, the nerd, the philanthropist, the terrorist.

A tall order.  And in the end, there’s only one Way by which we can hope to accomplish it.

Then there is the pain of Good Friday.  The shame, the ridicule, the mockery, borne with such long-suffering.  And we are told that, to some degree, we are called to share in this suffering.  To our pragmatic minds, this is a highly ridiculous idea.  And maybe it would be…

Except, Good Friday is not the end.  It seemed like it was.  For hours that seemed like an eternity, there was silence.  The silence of death.  And then… God called a plot twist.

And so it is that we arrive at Easter Vigil, when aroused from our sleep, we gather amidst the darkness, dazed, confused, disheartened, until a spark illumines the night, firelight frightening the troops of death returning in victory.  They stop dead in their tracks.  And a light is born that will never die.

No, you misunderstand me, like, a real fire, from which we light the candles of our soul and process into the sanctuary.  We Catholics are such daredevils.

Solemn yet joyous, a proclamation: HE LIVES!