This Is The Day

Night of Nights Leads to A Day of Hope 

This year I am completely out of synch with the liturgical sequences of events in the Gospels. Something completely strange and unexpected took place in my heart on Maundy Thursday that I cannot really explain.

Suffice to say that I felt the overwhelming presence of the Risen Christ at some point  that afternoon as I was doing my blog. 

For the first time ever I decided to publish posts then and there up right up until Easter Sunday. I was quite apprehensive about fast forwarding the posts for fear that people would think I was bypassing things out of disrespect but I just couldn't hold back !!

 This post from Roger Karban sheds some light on this.

"Mark’s Resurrection narrative (16:1-7) is unique. His Gospel originally ended it with, “The women went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”

 For Mark, the risen Jesus is still “out here somewhere.” There’s no ascension, no definitive way he appears to those who believe. His Gospel leaves things “wide open,” leaving us to ask, “How does the risen Jesus come to us?” Are we, like the women, afraid to deal with the suffering presence of someone who brings us from death to life?

Things were opened wide for me this week and up until Thursday I was feeling quite low and wondering how or when I would ever be able to move to Easter Resurrection in my heart.  In fact most of the time I am resigned to being in the state Mark Gordon describes in this post on Vox Nova :
"where Catholicism is an everyday faith, suitable for the mountaintop surely, but divinely configured for the valleys in which most people spend the days of their lives."

But something changed for me this year so now you know !

The real presence of the risen Christ for me in the here and now of the evening service on Thursday and the Washing of The feet and yesterday's Good Friday service yesterday paradoxically made them even more acute experiences.

I read Frederick Buechner's words below today and realise that this experience I had may never come again exactly the way it did this year, but I am grateful for the grace that allowed me to feel God's presence so powerfully this week.

“In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another day just like today, and there will never be another just like it again. 

Today is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth. 

It is the point from which all your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. 

If you were aware of how precious today is, you could hardly live through it. 

Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all.”

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

 Image source

From St Francis of Assisi :- the "Be-attitude" that he lived out to the hilt.

 "Such love does the sky now pour, that whenever I stand in a field, I have to wring the light out when I get home." 

   For all our wonderful priests, choirs, lectors, and all who guided and served

   us so beautifully through Lent and Holy Week.....Thank you. You did a great job !!

   Now I hope that after the weekend you can take some time to take a well earned

 Today I'm able to sing :  Sing Allelu !!

Please sing this beautiful song with me...

By Fernando Ortega

                                                         Medieval watermill with undershot wheel

There are
beautiful wild forces within us.

 Let them turn the mills inside and fill
 sacks that feed even heaven.

- St. Francis of Assisi

From last year's post , Another Franciscan, Fr.Richard Rohr helps me to see what celebrating the resurrection of Jesus means in these words...
"Christ Crucified is all of the hidden, private, tragic pain of history made public and given over to God.
Christ resurrected is all of that private, ungrieved, unnoted suffering received, loved, and transformed by an All-Caring God.
How else could we believe in God at all? How else could we have any kind of cosmic hope?
How else would we not die of sadness for what humanity has done to itself and to one another?
Jesus is the blueprint, the plan, the pattern revealed in one body and moment of history to reveal the meaning of all of history and each of our lives.
The cross is the banner of what we do to one another and to God.
The resurrection is the banner of what God does to us in return.
Easter is the announcement of God’s perfect and final victory......."

 Image source

And below is a sobering wake up call for us Christians in The Twenty First Century..

Justin Martyr, the 2nd century theologion, shows the impact the Resurrection had on the early church....
We who ourselves used to have pleasure in impure things now cling to chastity alone.
We who dabbled in arts of magic now consecrate ourselves to the good and unbegotten God.
We who formerly treasured money and possessions more than anything else now hand everything over to the treasury for all, and share it with everyone who needs.
We who formerly cheated and murdered one another and did not even share our home with those who were different or from a different tribe, because of their customs, now, after Christ's appearance, live together and share the same table.
Now we pray for our enemies and try to win who hate us unjustly so that they too may live in accordance with Christ's wonderful teachings, that they too might enter into the expectation.
The more realistic way we live !!

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.”
James Matthew Barrie

But on this day Milton at Don't Eat Alone , who like me struggles with the atonement stuff,  eloquently says 

"Because of who I know God to be, I trust I could be forgiven without Jesus dying. What his death  matters most to me is to create the possibility for Resurrection. 

Jesus went to what we knew to be the limits of human existence and blew the doors off reminding us there is more to life than what we know. These days are not the last word. Death is a penultimate statement, the next to the last verse.

The longer I live on this planet, the more I appreciate Jesus’ visceral understanding of grief and loss. One of my favorite old hymns begins
man of sorrows – what a name
for the Son of God who came
The old King James translation spoke I poetic understatement of his being “acquainted with grief.” Then again, that particular acquaintance is one of the primary relationships in the life of most any person.
 Being human means to know loss and sorrow. What Jesus showed was being fully human, was knowing how to fully embrace that relationship.
 Grief and sorrow aren’t something other than life – they are a part of the very essence of our existence.

We have one account in the gospels of Jesus being in the living side of grief and that is in the death of his friend Lazarus. His response is recorded in what is famously known as the shortest verse in the Bible: “Jesus wept.”

 In the face of Jesus’ own demise, some of the disciples denied him, some doubted, some despaired. They didn’t have the luxury of the liturgical calendar to let them know Easter Sunday was just around the corner. He was dead and buried. 
They were brutally acquainted with grief. They went back to their old ways and climbed in the boat to go fishing, doing anything to fill the void, or anything to go on living.

 This was the night of their deepest question: what do we do now? Even without the Resurrection, death is not the last word for those left behind to keep living. 

The weeds will grow back and I will have to go and pull them up again. Our losses will pile up like my compost heap the longer we walk on this earth. 

Grief will become more than an acquaintance. Before we get to Sunday, we must answer the call, as Jackson Browne said, “Get up and do it again. Amen.

Amen, indeed.

As Newman said, it may be otherwise in Heaven but here below, to be perfect is to have changed often.

In that spirit, please have a look at my new blog called Thin Places from here

 I will still be posting here at Blue Eyed Ennis but I felt that a new blog on Thin Places
would be exciting and is something I have been thinking about for a while.

There will be some overlap between Blue Eyed Ennis and Thin Places if the posts are relevant.

Change : Tracy Chapman

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