There is a quote from Ron Rolheiser that puts these ‘high holy days’ in perspective.
Good Friday: is about the loss of life. Easter Sunday: is the reception of a new life. 40 days: are for the readjusting to the new and grieving the old. Ascension: is a letting go of the old and letting it bless you; a refusal to cling. Pentecost: is the reception of a new spirit for the new life that one is already living.
As someone said to me recently, “Our Christian spiritual life does not always follow the liturgical calendar”. How true that is! Our lives, whether Christians or of other faith traditions, are not so neatly packaged. And it is also true that the evolution of our lives is not linear. Rather, it seems we dance from one moment into the next, or perhaps stay stuck in what feels like an eternal moment. Yet as we reflect on the insight Rolheiser offers us, we can certainly proclaim an affirming ‘yes!’
These are as much dimensions of what it is to be human today as it was 2100 years ago when the message was lived out in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Liturgically we Christians are moving toward and through Good Friday. We focus on the loss of life as Jesus had lived it. His relationships with people who professed that they believed in him, the betrayal of friends who ran away in fear of being identified as a friend, and the loss of innocence through the condemnation of the political and religious authorities of his time.
As we contemplate the loss of his life, we are drawn to the realization that condemnation and betrayal continues in our world today. Even in our own country, people are being deported, sent back to their original homeland or forbidden to enter the gates of hope our country holds. They are betrayed and condemned only to face the death they came here to escape.
And these past two weeks Eremos has been touched by the death of family members, of friends and colleagues through illness. We have also heard the cries of injustice when people lose their jobs because of administrative decisions. Good Friday exists very personally for all of us.
As I gaze out my window, I see the brown grass has become green, the trees are now full of green leaves, the sun has returned with its beauty and warmth, and I remember: death is not forever! There is life when the seed breaks through the dry soil and the snowdrop blooms. There is life when strong winds blow away the old branches that can’t rejuvenate allowing new life to flow. This is the dance of the seasons. It is Spring!
We face the ‘Good Fridays’ of our lives and the life of Jesus knowing there is Life with us and within us in living and dancing through each moment. May you discover your living moment and open to the Life that sustains you, supports you and calls each of us into the dance of Love.