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Showing posts from April, 2015

Seek the Living: Easter 2015

I make the same mistake about this time every year. I start thinking about Springtime and growing things, and I look at my disheveled eyesore of a front yard and think I’d better get to work on it. It starts with removing the old dead stuff. I have to pull out all the dead stuff so that new life has room to grow. How Lenten is that?
Well, back to my annual mistake. There are some plants that look really dead, by which I mean they look really really really dead. Like brittle and brown and crackly and half-rotted. They literally could not look more dead than they do. So I do the obvious thing and start breaking them off and throwing them away. And then, usually after I’ve ripped out most of it, I find a fresh green growth on the end of one of those dry, utterly-dead-looking stems. And I realize that all of that plant would have greened, if I’d given it the chance. I’d thought that nothing that dead could ever come to life again, but I was wrong.
It reminds me of a visit when I was young t…

]Good Friday Portraits pt. 3: The Bystander

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Jerusalem at Passover is indescribable. The whole kingdom of Judah descends on the city, which seems pretty big until the pilgrims start pouring in the gates. They just keep coming, and coming… and there we were among them, my sons and I. Rufus and Alexander had a long trip from our home in faraway Cyrene. Israel is nothing like Libya, but there on the south coast of the great sea is one of the places our people settled when we scattered. We are few at home, but here we are many. This week in Jerusalem my sons can see what they are part of, and truly participate in the story. The pilgrims come. The Lambs are chosen. The story of the Exodus is retold. The blood is poured out in the Passover sacrifice. And we remember that wherever we are, whatever may happen, whatever the Romans may say, the Lord our God has made us free.
When you pack the city with so many strangers from so many places, you’ve got a recipe for rumor, and the whole city buzzed with whispered stories about the Nazarene. …

Holy Thursday 2015

The idea is to follow Christ through these coming hours. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, culminating in the great Easter Vigil… the idea is to follow Christ.
These liturgies constantly invite us to enter in to the mysteries - not just to reflect on them, not just to remember, but to become participants. We are not here to be spectators. We are here to give living witness to the Paschal Mystery that defines our own lives, a summons to follow Christ. And when we talk about ‘following Christ,’ we mean that quite literally, to place our feet in His footsteps, to go where He goes, to choose as He has chosen. 
The Mass of the Lord’s Supper, for Catholics, is not just a re-enactment; it is that, but so much more. We haven’t come here tonight to remember what happened in the Upper Room. We’ve come here because it’s going to happen again. Tonight, the words will be spoken, “Take this, all of you, and eat of it, this is my Body.”  The voice that speaks these words will belong to a sinf…