Feed on
Posts
Comments

 

We gather here this evening at this table to celebrate. One of the things we celebrate is the arrival of a number of new members to our community. The members of the RCIA have been studying, questioning, reflecting and praying together as they consider their call to discipleship.

These past 3 days of the Christian Triduum have provided them and all of us with many lessons and challenges as we “ponder” what it means to be a follower of The Christ.

Holy Thursday helps us to understand the importance of Table Fellowship. Jesus eats the Passover meal with his friends.

Lesson: We are deeply loved by Jesus- We are the beloved of God and all things are possible because of this love. He loved us so deeply he left us food for the journey in his body and blood and asked us to come to the table in fellowship and to be fed by him.

Christ then washes the feet of the apostles.

Lesson: to be a follower of Jesus we must practice profound humility. To be a follower of “The Way” as the early Christians were called meant that one was to be a servant to all. We were not to take places of privilege. Jesus warns us against becoming a pride-filled people who consider themselves superior to others.

The Garden of Gethsemane is a lesson in prayer.

Jesus is troubled to the point of death and in this time of great need he turns to the Father and prays for this cup to pass him by. In his prayer however he provides us with the key to moving forward through our pain and our confusion as he trusts the Father and shows this by saying-“Father not my will but your will be done.”

There are many lessons in the Passion and Crucifixion and I will highlight two of them.

Lesson: Pain and Suffering is very much a part of the human experience. We cannot escape it- Christ chose not to escape it.

Lesson: Another lesson comes from the Cross comes immediately after Jesus is crucified and slammed into the ground his first words in Luke’s gospel provide for us one of foundations of his teaching- Christ looks upward and says-“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Forgiving those that have hurt us and asking for forgiveness for the wrongs we have committed is at the heart of the transformational nature of the Cross. The Cross goes from a symbol of death to one of new life through forgiveness.


The story gives way from the shock of Good Friday to the despair of Holy Saturday. To the apostles, the Mary’s and to all the followers of Christ it must have been the darkest of times.  The community is grieving.

We arrive at the morning of the next day. One of the few constants between all four of the gospel accounts is the presence of Mary of Magdala.

What lessons are there for us person of Mary from the village of Magdala?

  • Seven Demons- She is one of us/ imperfect and in need of the healing power of Jesus
  • She allowed the experience with Jesus to change her life completely.
  • This would not have been an easy choice- leave her family- leave her security & risk scandal
  • From heartbroken follower who was expecting to prepare the dead body of Christ she becomes the messenger with the news that changes the worlds.
  • Jesus makes her the messenger – “Go to Galilee” – the scene of the great triumphs

All four of the evangelists place young Mary at the scene of the greatest event in human history because she offers to us an example of what it means to be a true follower of the Way- of the Risen Christ.

Lesson: She is not perfect, she suffered from seven demons. She had no real power. In her moment of greatest despair she meets the risen Christ and becomes his messenger to the others.

Soon Jesus will ascend into Heaven; the disciples will find themselves back in Jerusalem in the Upper room where our story began on Holy Thursday.

They are huddled around the table once again and are filled with uncertainty and wondering what is next.

On Pentecost we will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. We remember that tonight in the confirmation of these candidates.

The Easter Vigil reminds us that we have all been baptized into this new way of life as followers of Christ. We are called to be fed at this table; we receive the wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit in confirmation.

Then the biggest of all challenges- to go out into the world and to put into practice all we have learned from our brother Jesus. That means we leave this table and go out into the world in the peace and love of Christ to serve our brothers and sisters.

Final Lesson for today: Let us go and never be afraid to do the humble work of Christ.

Comments are closed.