Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Barreling through Holy Week we have two left over questions from the other day. I think I'll save Eddie's question until after Easter. Sorry Eddie, but I have pews to polish.
Here is the other question, from poor old anonymous, which we have no time but to address it right away:
My question is, Easter is coming and I am not looking forward to it, and what do I do? I would rather rub along in a Lent-like manner. But isn't one purpose of Lent the preparation for Easter? I feel kind of repelled by the prospect of Easter resurrection joy at the moment.
Hopefully, as you rub along all Lent-like, the Easter joy will dawn on you. Because right now we are in the very thick of it.
Tomorrow is Holy Thursday, already! THE Holy Day of Holy Week (which by the way, used to be called "Great Week".....now we can't call it that anymore since the rampant overuse of the word 'great', as in 'have a great day!'). This is one big deal. On this day Jesus established the priesthood, had dinner with his friends and said good-bye, established the Eucharist, suffered alone, got arrested.....
So tomorrow morning there will be big cathedral Masses where all the priests get together and solemnly celebrate the fact that they have their jobs. The bishop will wash their feet and bless all the oils used for the Sacraments. Confessions will be heard. Very exciting.
In a solemn sort of way.
In the evening we'll all go to Mass (WON'T WE) . We go in the evening because we are celebrating the Last Supper of Jesus and His disciples and they were having their Passover dinner. Too far from the Temple to safely get a kosher lamb for their Passover seder, it wasn't until later that the eleven Apostles realized they had had Lamb after all. Judas wasn't around to realize anything anymore.
At this Mass we strip the altar and the church. We wash everything.
Here's another thing Jesus invented: Spring cleaning. Okay, he didn't invent it himself (although he did thoroughly clean out Limbo). But the tradition of spring cleaning started because of the Catholic church getting ready for Easter. (Hence my haste to answer questions today! I have to find our Murphy's Oil Soap coupons! As soon as Sister Mary Fiacre wakes up from her nap, we're outta here.)
We stop ringing bells after the Consecration at that Mass and we don't ring them again Easter. We stay up all night with the Blessed Sacrament to make up for the dozing disciples.
We've already covered what happens on Friday.
I should think, anonymous, that you would at least feel a little relief to have all your hard work pay off. Your Lenten sacrifice, the fasting, the contemplation.....you have to at least feel content to eat deviled eggs and ham and some chocolate in your nice clean house with your nice clean soul. Perhaps you were just rubbing along without applying any elbow grease.
Something is definitely missing. I'm thinking: gratitude. On Easter Sunday wear a new hat and make a list of all the things for which you are grateful. Not ten things...one hundred things. Eat a chocolate egg after each ten things. Have a delicious dinner when you're done.
If you don't feel a little more Easter-y, it may be time to see your doctor.