FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013, 11:41 A.M.

Passion and Grace

A detail from Pinturicchio's fresco
A detail from Pinturicchio's fresco "Resurrection." (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Holy Week . . . Passion and Grace

We enter Palm Sunday with triumph and joy, a journey into Jerusalem; our own lives seek the journey to return home, to enjoy friends and wonder about our future.  Jesus was deceived by false claims of devotion.  We travel our lives with similar steps.

Holy Thursday invites us to share food, drink wine, speak holy words, share our thoughts amidst laughter, memories and gentle friendship.  Ritual and celebration define us.  But soon, darkness, betrayal, and anguish overcome us and life offers no real control – even when you are Jesus.

Good Friday crashes down with tragedy and skewed loyalties among friends; a frenzy of courage and grief and loss and confusion and hopelessness; a spiritual wandering; emptiness and death.  Primal-scream loneliness.  Darkness extinguishes one’s spirit.  Where is that God who promises so much?

We seek quiet stirrings and reflection and desperately demand meaning out of endings.  How can one live with deep anguish?  How can one survive the death of all that is good, close, holy, loving?  Chaos reigns.

And then . . . when hope no longer lingers in one’s bones . . . that stone which has sealed us into death, suddenly quakes loose in ways we could never imagine, understand or even ask for.  The thunderous movement liberates creation and the stone moves farther and farther away, smashing darkness.  Light reaches into our own hiding places and warms what has been broken, offering healing and hope.

While our brains cannot explain, measure or understand, we are healed as we eagerly race from that sealed tomb into God’s grace of light and love; we arrive crashing into our God who will not abandon, our God who dances with joy at our own goodness.

The passion of Christ is the passion we claim for our own lives.

When we listen, we know of this cosmic message; we are made in God’s image and deserve to be liberated from all that shackles us.  In thunderous revelations or in quiet wandering, we arrive in Light, we are made whole.

We deserve to dance in the Light of God’s Grace.... 

(S-R Photo archives: A detail from Pinturicchio's fresco "Resurrection.")                                                             

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