Saturday, April 23, 2011

In the upper room...

Talk about despair. My friend, my master, my Lord was executed and buried. All our hopes that were linked to you, Jesus, that you just might be the Messiah that would deliver us from underneath the boot of the Romans.

Everything we'd seen...ah, how could it possibly end like this??? You turned water into wine! You walked on water! You fed thousands of people with half a wicker basket of food! You restored sight to the blind man! You cast out demons more times than I can count! You gave US the power to cast them out! Lazarus was DEAD, and now he's alive, hiding here with us!

How is it that Lazarus is alive, but you are dead? How is that possible???

You mentioned in the garden before they took you away that if you wanted, you could summon 12 legions of angels to protect you! Why DIDN'T you? What were you waiting for??? All the good you did, all that you taught us...where was the fire you showed in the Temple when you drove out the moneychangers? You just let them take you, like a lamb to the slaughter.

Oh and it was a slaughter. John told us what they did to you. The beatings. The spitting. That unending flaying with the whips. That horrific crown they made you wear...what, was that supposed to be FUNNY? Being made to carry your cross (I know that sounds familiar to me, but I can't place my finger on it). And then, being nailed to that same cross, disgraced, naked, for hours in agony, all in front of your Mother. I would have stayed, SHOULD have, but I was frightened. They would have recognized our accent, they would have known our faces from that day in the Temple.

Then that terrible storm.

I know the Temple guards are looking for us, probably to do the same to us as they did to you. No one's been able to talk to Peter at all...I've never seen him like this. No one's seen Judas since the Garden, and that's a damned good thing too - how could he DO that to us, to you? And dammit Jesus, how could you LET him??? How could you let this happen??? You wouldn't even let us fight for you. We believed what you said! We believed you were what you said you were! We...ah, I can't go on. I don't have the strength.

It's better that we stay here for awhile, at least until things calm down. Mary wants to go to the tomb to tend to your body, since they had to leave in such a hurry yesterday because of the Sabbath. We were looking to Peter to stop her, but he waved her out anyway...she seemed to need to go. It's still dark, but no one's sleeping here anyway. I cannot believe that it's ended this way. I miss you, Jesus, so, so much. And I'm angry. And I'm frightened. And I feel alone.

If only I could see you, hear your voice, feel your hand on my shoulder again. If only...

Vigil of the Holy Night of Easter
Genesis 1:1-2:2
Genesis 22:1-18
Exodus 14:15-15:1
Isaiah 54:5-14
Isaiah 55:1-11
Baruch 3:9-15,32-4:4
Ezekial 36:16-28
Romans 6:3-11
Matthew 28:1-10

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Behold...Behold the wood of the cross
On which is hung our Salvation.
Oh come let us adore.

Good Friday of the Lord's Passion
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm 31:2,6,12-13,15-16,17,25
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
John 18:1-19:42

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Who was Judas, really?

Reading this article in America Magazine
today got me thinking; has Judas Iscariot gotten a bad rap throughout Christian history?

The Gospels describe him as greedy, a thief, jealous, demon possessed. In Paradise Lost, Dante portrays him being chewed headfirst in Satan's mouth for all eternity. Does Judas deserve such a fate? And the article makes an excellent point; how could Judas remain an Apostle, amongst Jesus's closet friends in the world, and retain all of these horrid qualities?

I have no answers, but it is something I've thought about often, particularly when entering the Triduum. Was Judas a Zealot, trying to force Christ's hand in proclaiming His Kingship by having Him arrested? Did Christ somehow make Judas understand and accept the role he was to play in salvation, as in The Last Temptation of Christ? Was he some poor dupe of the wiley Sanhedrin, as he was in Zefferelli's Jesus of Nazareth? Did Satan literally have his minions enter into Judas as described in the Gospels and in the visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich?

When he saw the havoc his betrayal had caused, did Judas weep as Simon Peter wept after denying Him?

Judas Iscariot, Apostle of Christ, I wonder about your fate from time to time.

Holy Thursday, Mass of the Last Supper
Daily Mass Readings
Exodus 12:1-8,11-14
Psalm 116:12-13,15-18
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-15

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Preparing to enter the Mystery

"C'mon back! Get your sins forgiven and be ready for Easter!"
- Father Ralph

St. Brigid's was packed today, with folks both going to Mass and waiting for Confession. I was there for the latter; it hasn't been the best Lent for me and I wanted to enter the Triduum with a glad heart to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries. When I saw how many folks were waiting for Confession before me, I almost walked out. I counted 10, and lunch hour was already half over. I stayed.

Even after the first "confessee" took 10 minutes or more, I stayed. When it appeared the second wasn't going to be zipping along either, I gathered myself to go. That's when Father Ralph and his assistant pastor came in from the rectory. They were both in street clothes...but both were wearing their purple stoles.

Father said, "I heard through the grapevine that we are blessed to have a large number of faithful looking for God's mercy. So we're doing triple duty today! C'mon back! Get your sins forgiven and be ready for Easter!"
They both set up shop at opposite ends of the church, quietly hearing confessions in the pews, while Father J continued in the confessional.

Father Ralph kept me in that church today...for a confession that was admittedly difficult. Diffcult, but oh, so necessary. Thank you to all the good priests of St. Brigid's for making sure all of us who needed the sacramentally grace of Christ was able to receive it.

Daily Mass Readings
Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 71:1-6,15-17
John 13:21-33,36-38