Saturday, March 31, 2018
Selling the Drama 2018 Edition
Holy Week is coming to a close and the Easter Season is upon us. Not before, however, we unfold all that this week and salvation history has been about tonight at the Easter Vigil.
I have kept this blog for over 10 years which is insane to me. These 10 years, however, have been so much about growth and becoming the person that I am today. I looked back at some earlier posts in which I used this same title. I can see myself starting to grow. I had moved back to DC. Started grad school. I was starting to nerd out and geek out about my theological studies. I had a strong community of friends. I was becoming a teacher.
And here we are today. In some ways, things are not that different. Still a theological nerd. Still a teacher. The location has changed, though only by about 90 miles, and I haven't shared a living space with a roommate in about five years, but I have rediscovered my need for community in new ways.
Another major difference between 27 and (almost) 37? No. More. Drama.
The drama was on its way out, I think, towards the end of my twenties anyway, but by this stage in the game, the drama almost ceases to exist and it is glorious.
Which brings me to Holy Week. In the aforementioned previous posts, I focus on the drama of Holy Week which is no doubt still there. The Church hasn't changed in 2000 years, it's not about to alter the celebration of Holy Week! However, my perspective on Holy Week has changed in my, ahem, older age.
There is still no denying the drama that occurs during Holy Week, for that is what it is about. Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem in glory with Hosannas and palms on the back of a donkey, and by the end of the week, finds Himself in a tomb. There is a lot that happens in between.
But something I experienced last year when I wasn't able to enter into the Triduum as I would have liked, made me realize that these Passion plays and rituals are good, but they are about us. We need the rituals to enter into this time in Christ's life. Christ doesn't need them.
That doesn't mean that we shouldn't partake in the rituals of Triduum. That is not what I am saying. I went to Holy Thursday Mass and Good Friday service yesterday and I can't wait for the Easter Vigil tonight. I am entering in this year! But Christ has already won the victory. He has already died and rose. These rituals are designed to draw us closer to Christ. We are the ones who need to remember. He never forgets.
And all of this newfound thirties drama-less mindset brings me to Holy Saturday. In the past, I don't know if I appreciated this day. In fact, when I teach the Triduum to my students, there isn't much to say about this day other than Jesus is in the tomb. But this morning, waking up to the stillness and sunlight after the dreariness of Good Friday, made me appreciate this part of the Triduum in a new way.
I googled Holy Saturday and a lot of images of tombs and crosses came up. For some reason, I found this building with the door mysterious and relevant. Insert female emoji with her arms up here!
What were the apostles doing on this day? Hiding? Mourning? Waiting? I know that the women were going to prepare the body, which shows me how brave and loyal those women were. While the men were probably in hiding wondering if they would be next on the Romans' list, the women were not afraid and were loyal enough to make that trek to the tomb after the Sabbath.
And what was Christ doing on this day? Taking the holy souls to heaven finally? Enjoying some peace and quiet? Having one day's rest with the Father and Spirit? It is fun to meditate on. And gives me new perspective on death and resurrection.
We are quick to jump on drama. We love the action of the palms on Palm Sunday, the Passion play unfold on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Today is Holy Saturday, and I believe that it brings a stillness and peace that we often overlook. However, we can't stay in the "tomb" forever. We need the joy and the action of the Resurrection to bring about new perspective, new life.
Looking forward to tonight's Easter Vigil! I was asked last minute to sponsor a 10 year old coming into the Church tonight! I always love celebrating with my RCIA community at the cathedral. Please keep all of those entering the Church tonight in your prayers. And Happy Holy Saturday.