Saturday, April 19, 2014

When God Sleeps

Epic fail. It didn't work. He's dead at only 33. His own disowned him. Betrayed, his friends abandoned him. What a waste. Everything the Lord did in his life on earth was meant to be a kind of catechism for us. His every divine word but also his divine actions were an answer to the mystery of human life for us; after all, he came to teach us how to live. "Jesus Christ fully reveals man to himself, and makes his supreme calling clear." (Gaudium et Spes, 22) The birth in poverty. Jesus the toddler. Jesus the teenager. The blue collar work. The callused hands. The hidden years, all 18 of them. The lack of formal "education" and having anything written down for posterity. Then the false accusations. The criminal's death. The awkward silence of Holy Saturday. But we know now he was waiting. In silence. For a Jew, three days meant the soul had definitely left the body. He was dead. The "prayers" of the embalming perfumes set in, and soaked his dead flesh in the darkness of that tomb. One hundred pounds of oils the gospel said, enough for a kings burial. But a waste. Spilled over a dead man. Sealed and scented by no one. 
Have we felt the silence of Holy Saturday in our lives? The cold echo of prayers places in tombs? Have we learned nothing from the God of parables? The seed must die, buried in the dank earth, and wait. Time must tick. The Lord will respond in his time, not ours. The key is, keep showing up. Stay awake even when it seems Christ himself cannot "watch one hour with you." This tomb of hollow prayers must be visited. We must go through the motions, as it were, even when it appears as if death, silence, failure is all there is. Stay awake even when God sleeps. 
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