Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Holy Week

I meant to post yesterday, but it was a little hard getting back into the swing of things after a week of half-day teaching and some much needed time with our beloved tenor. It occurred to me about the middle of the week that these were the most consecutive days of free time I've had with him since our honeymoon, almost twelve years ago. Oh, we've had vacations, but most of them have involved driving to see relatives for major life events like weddings and religious professions; enjoyable though those events can be, there's nothing like just being together at home.

Not that we spent all of our time at home, of course. We were trying to accomplish several things last week, and unfortunately the periodic rain made some of that a little more hectic than we'd hoped. Not only that, but I found out that a week really wasn't enough--I think my DH could be home for a whole month before we'd get everything done that we need to do around here!

There's never enough time to do the things that need doing, let alone the things we want to do. We make plans, we try to organize our schedules, we optimistically decide in advance that we will move from point a to point b to point c in an orderly progression--and then things happen that change all of that, and throw our lives back into chaos.

For most of us, most of the time, the unplanned chaos that enters our lives is minor. Small illnesses. A cancellation of a long-standing appointment. An unannounced visit from a relative or friend. Or finding out that we need to look a little harder and longer to find an affordable painter.

There are times, though, when the chaos that interrupts our day to day existence is huge. A job loss. A major illness or surgery. A car accident involving injuries. The death of someone we love.

For the Apostles, the death of Christ was the most horrific and chaotic event they would ever experience. Not yet strengthened by the Holy Spirit, not yet able to understand God's plan of salvation, they saw only defeat, unbearable ignominy, a dark betrayal and their own impending doom. Most of them ran away from the Cross in terror. The Lord, the One they believed was the Messiah, God's chosen one, was dead--and such a death! Executed like a common criminal, dragged away, hands bound, face bleeding, bruised, despised, rejected.

And only a week before had been that glorious entry into Jerusalem. Were James and John secretly congratulating themselves for having had the foresight to claim the places of honor in the coming Kingdom? Was Matthew, perhaps, still seeing the possibility of huge earthly profits from this new order of things? Was Peter still designing in his mind the booths he'd put up when Moses and Elijah returned to remain at Jesus's side? And what filled Judas's heart? Envy? Avarice? Spite? Pride?

It was all snatched away, evaporated like a tiny pool of water after a brief yet glittering rain. All their hopes, all their plans, all their fond confidence in the Lord Whom they loved--all was gone, and as far as they knew, gone forever.

As far as they knew.

We will all have "Holy Weeks" of our own. Some who read this have already had them. In our own sufferings and agonies, though, we have the one thing the Apostles didn't have on that dark Friday, the worst day of their lives.

We have the rest of the story.

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