Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Passiontide and Easter

A little meditation I wrote for the Parish News Letter of Saint Benedict's Anglican Catholic Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


The most dramatic and moving services of the year are about to take place at Saint Benedict’s and all over the world. There is a definite emotional contrast that we move into in those few days of Holy Week and Easter. Compared, of course, to what the original disciples experienced, our experience can be only mild. They really suffered the distress of knowing that Jesus, their Rabbi, had been flogged and crucified. With him died their hope. All was lost.

          The problem was magnified because they had been unable to hear him the several times he foretold his betrayal, suffering, and death. Had they heard it, and had it come to mind between the dark hours of Thursday night and the dark wee hours of Sunday morning, their pain might have been mixed with the joy of hope in anticipation of his resurrection. Part of why they had been unable to hear each of those foretellings by our Lord was probably because they expected a painless transition into some sort of worldly kingdom, with images of the Kingdom of God not properly distanced from their carnal understanding of political kingdoms, albeit mixed with the resurrection of the dead and other benefits of divine power as they imagined it.

          On one occasion Jesus had barely finished foretelling his suffering, death, and resurrection when two of his disciples, James and John, asked to be seated one on his right hand, and one on his left in his kingdom (Mark 10:32-45). The very night in which he was betrayed, no sooner had he spoken of his death than the twelve began to argue over who was the greatest among them (Luke 22:21-27). Indeed, it can be our own agendas, our own carnal and worldly ambitions, and other distractions that deafen us to what our Lord is saying.

          Even after Jesus had risen they still did not believe until he came into the room in which they were hiding due to fear. It is good for us to lay aside all false expectations, all worldly agendas, and carnal ambitions, so we can hear what Jesus Christ says to us in the sacred pages of the Gospels. The joy that is coming, on which we depend, is not of this world. It is Easter joy. The risen and glorified Christ will share with us his own acquired immortal form of human Life, completing our adoption as the children of his eternal Father.

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