Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easter Alleluia 2.0

I am glad that my school's Spring Break coincides with the Triduum and Easter because I can then take in all that the Triduum and Easter are about. I can spend my Triduum in prayer and my Easter week REJOICING!

And I rejoiced pretty well this year, I'm going to go ahead and say that. You may recall that a teacher friend and I had the remarkable insight to book a trip to Puerto Rico back in February when we couldn't take any more of the cold or the iciness that comes from working with teenagers :)

Behold: the Lord makes all things good and new...Alleluia!

Rooftop deck and the Beach!
 Rooftop POOL!
 Colorful Old San Juan!

and yours truly outside of the...er...convent :)

Also, we toured the Cathedral of San Juan and I learned about this guy:

Manuel Carlos Rodriguez Santiago- a Puerto Rican layperson who has been beatified. I'm inspired by this holy layperson! Not too often you come across a beatified person depicted in a business suit!

Over this Triduum and Easter break, God gave me the opportunity to discern where I am at in my life and be open to saying "yes" to Him again. I am not sure yet what I might be saying "yes" to, but an opportunity has presented itself and I'm sure God will make it clear. I am however grateful for the opportunity to be open to wherever and whatever God might want me to do and to discern and say "yes" because He knows that brings me closer to Him.

Sorry to be vague :)

I know I have spoken about how I struggle with my work getting into my prayer time and it continues to be the case, but I did take some inspiration as I was lesson planning today and preparing to teach the History Books from the Old Testament again.

A couple semesters ago I HATED teaching this section. I didn't understand the history books. The Torah I got- all full of its covenants, laws, and symbols. Wisdom literature (Job, Wisdom, Psalms, Proverbs, etc) I get because they are also flowery and symbolic. The prophets are a little weird but they point to Christ so I get it.

The History books? The Israelites screwing up over and over again trying to appoint kings and defeat nations that I cannot pronounce and know nothing about? UGH. Not for me.

But with my Old Testament directed research last semester I learned a little more about Deborah, which helped me to understand female roles in the Old Testament better as well as the role of the "Judge." In my course with my students, we cover Deborah and Samuel , then quickly move to the kings- just the main 3- Saul, David, and Solomon.

I also love David. Saul and Solomon can be a tough sell for me like the rest of the books and characters in this history section, but David gives me hope.

David was a man "after God's own heart". (It is amazing to me how the students never understand what that phrase means. I should probably stop being amazed by now...) MEANING he may not always do exactly what God wanted him to do, but he tried real hard and God had a soft spot for him because of it.

When I think of David, I think of the scene of him trying to bring the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. (I play the Lauryn Hill song "Zion" when I teach this lesson, too! 90s pop culture for the win!) He messes up the first time- doesn't do it the way it has been ritually prescribed to do. And people suffer for it. But unlike Saul who is a big cry baby and tries to cover his behind, David prays and tries again. David's prayers are always sincere, even when he messes up. And he rejoices and dances as the Ark of the Covenant finally does enter the Holy City.

David makes me ask myself: do I pray sincerely always? Do I try and again and rejoice even after I fall?

And the example David sets for me is one of joy and hope. As I was driving home after catching up on all the lesson planning and whatnot that I did NOT do over break, I had a David moment with Jesus. I just thought: "aww...you love me know matter what, Jesus!" (He's shmoopy like that sometimes) "You are just happy that I turn my thoughts to you and want to honor you."

So even if my prayer time isn't ideal or perfect, and even if I don't succeed at every moment or every opportunity, I can say Alleluia and rejoice because it pleases the Lord just to even have me turn to Him.

Alleluia! Happy Easter!

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