Deans' Note Mar. 28, 2021
We come to the culmination of our Lenten preparation and begin Holy Week this Palm Sunday. In particular, we move to the three holiest days beginning on Thursday evening after sunset, the start of Good Friday, then Holy Saturday, and Easter Day.
The primary purpose of these liturgies is not to commemorate something that happened to Jesus long ago. Rather we walk with him to give thanks for what he did and experience how it impacts our lives and the future of the world.
Jesus gives us the sacrament of his Body and Blood and teaches us about serving one another so that we have a physical sacramental sign of our connection to each other, to him, and the promise of the future new creation. We enter the mystery of the cross knowing the offering of his life opens the path to new life for us as he conquers the power of death. The cross is connected to our own death and to the font of Baptism where we enter into a new life with him through the resurrection.
These are themes of both cosmic and personal significance. We move from darkness to light, death to life. This year these themes hold even more weight and meaning as we are on the verge of moving into a new phase from loss and grief to hope and re-emergence from the pandemic, That's why our first in-person service in the Cathedral will not be the glory of Easter, but the hopeful waiting at the tomb looking for life to burst forth (See the video in this update).
We also may look at the world around us and struggle with hope when we see much that indicates the triumph of darkness, rather than the victory of light. The Church lectionary appoints Mark's Gospel to be read this year, and the Easter Gospel is appropriate to where many of us are. Mark doesn't end his Gospel in a blaze of glory. Women come early to the tomb just as the sun has risen and they experience disorientation. They hear the message of Jesus' resurrection but flee from in fear and disbelief.
We believe that is not the end of the story, but this year, we may be having an Easter experience similar to those first women. We may find it difficult to see beyond the tomb, to experience the resurrection in our lives right now. Still, faith compels us to continue to search for the one who went out ahead of those women and who brought them to resurrection joy even through their struggles. So let's enter this week through night to day, through loss to life along with Jesus who points the way forward..