As I write this reflection, we are right in the middle of Holy Week, the darkest week of the Church year. This week we approach the desolation of the cross, and then walk through it to the joy of Easter and the hope and joy of resurrection. The Holy Week story tells us that it is only as we walk through the shadows and darkness, only when we absorb all the horror of Good Friday and its consequences, only as we enter into the despair and hopelessness that the disciples felt on Holy Saturday, that we can truly understand the light and hope and joy of Easter morning.
As we reflect on these things our world is right in the middle of its own Holy Week experience. We are dealing with a hidden enemy that has turned the world into a dark and frightening place. As we scurry out to stock up on groceries, it feels like we’re entering a war zone, where everyone is an enemy. The tradition of Lament in Scripture encourages to hold our fears and our horror at the things we hear and see around us with a calm faith. Lament questions God and asks why things are as they are, and is prepared to sit with the silence and the lack of answers in calm, trusting faith. Our example is Jesus, as he walked through this week, towards what he knew was certain death, as he stood before Caiaphas and Pilate, and as he carried his cross. Over and over again, Jesus told his disciples to not be afraid, but to approach life with calm faith and trust – and he lived this out right to the end. His cry from the cross ‘Why have you forsaken me?’ was met with silence on Good Friday, and more silence on Holy Saturday, but finally the answer came on Easter Day with the resurrection. He had not been abandoned. God continued to be with him even in the darkness.
On our Holy Week journey, we know for certain that Easter lies just across the horizon. In this virus-plagued world, we don’t know where the end is, and we don’t know what direction the path will take, but we do know that it will surely come, and we trust, with calm faith, that God is with us.
In peace, Mother Lynda