Monday, April 5, 2010

The Meaning of It All

Happy Easter!
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

If we had been with Jesus that first “Holy week” and thru Easter we would have celebrated the “meaning of it all” in those few days?

The Tridium celebrations (Holy Thursday Jn 13:1-15; Good Friday Jn 18:1—19:42; and Holy Saturday Lk 24:1-12) are the beginning of the traditions of our Church, of Christianity. They let us experience, through Him, suffering, dying and resurrection (Love and Hope in Sacrifice, Death, and Eternal Life) in a few short days.

With Him on Thursday night, we celebrated His first mass, the sacrament of the Eucharist and the first rite of Holy Orders. There, He gave us His body and blood to continue to be shared; there, He blessed his apostles, anointing them and making them our first priests. Holy Thursday is the beginning of our Church, the celebration of the Eucharist (Mass), and the continued sharing of our faith thru the leadership of our priests.

On Good Friday, we walked the Stations of the Cross with Him. We experienced His unjust sufferings, as we too suffer “unjustly” in our own lives. And we experienced another giving of a sacrament, in the Confession and forgiveness of the thief on His right. On Good Friday we experience true Love. The love he showed by His forgiveness of those who condemned Him, the Love and respect He gave to His mother, Mary, and ultimately the Love and forgiveness He gave us in allowing us to be forgiven so that we might enter the Kingdom of God when we pass from this life.

Without his sufferings where would we be? What hope of forgiveness would we have? What hope of salvation would we have? Old Testament Jew’s had rituals and sacrifices to please God so they might enter his kingdom but Christ came to be the ultimate sacrifice so that “all” would have the hope of the kingdom. The suffering on the cross is the “meaning of life,” the reason that we love, the reason that we can have hope in our sufferings and death.

And on Holy Saturday, thru the rites of the blessings of new fire (light) and new water, we witness two more sacraments, Baptism and Confirmation. These sacraments cleanse us and make us a living part of the church, first at baptism and secondly as we reconfirm our role and relationship, thru the sacrament of Confirmation. We will also be reminded of the gifts of the Spirit in the celebration of Pentecost which end the Easter season.

Ultimately, then, we are able to experience the true joy of His resurrection on the third day and the knowledge that we can join him in celebration of Easter whenever we are called.
We are blessed to know, 2010 years later, that we too can be forgiven, that we too can rise on the last day, that there is Hope and Love for us all, no matter what our sufferings and sins may be.

This is the meaning of it all. The reason we suffer, die and love. Without these “three days” of remembrance there is no meaning, no reason for our lives, for our sufferings, for our hope to be resurrected and to enter the kingdom of God.

So what are we doing to honor God? How do we celebrate these rich traditions of our faith? How do we accept our sufferings, forgive our enemies and care for those we love? What is the “meaning of our life?” Who in our lives do we treat like the thief, with forgiveness; like Mary, with caring; like those who condemn us, with love?

Dear God, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! Praise and Thanksgiving! Thank you for your forgiveness and suffering on the cross. Thank you for your undeserving love. Please help me to be more like you each day: help me to accept my sufferings; to forgive those who condemn me or wrong me in ANY way; and to love unconditionally, with no expectations of something to be given in return. Thank you for giving me the traditions of the church and the bible stories of your life to serve as a constant reminder of what is “the meaning of it all.” Amen.

Let us too, be resurrected to renew our faith, love and hope In Christ Jesus!

No comments:

Post a Comment