Christians & Coronavirus:
Staying Connected in Christ
APRIL 10 & 11, 2020
"LIFE FOR EVERY CATHOLIC BELIEVER"
LIFE FOR EVERY CATHOLIC BELIEVER
TRIDUUM - 3 DAY REFLECTION
The Triduum, (Latin for "3 days") is the most sacred liturgy in the Catholic Tradition. It celebrates the final hours of Jesus’ life, commemorates His sacrificial death on the cross and culminates in His promise of Resurrection from the dead. Let’s look at these 3 days in chronological order; Holy Thursday, Good Friday then ending on Holy Saturday. Then, we'll reflect on them in light of our lives, but in reverse; Holy Saturday, Good Friday, then back to Holy Thursday.
Holy Thursday celebrates the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Every year the Gospel reading is the same. Taken from the Gospel of John the scene is, “during supper, he rose, took off his outer garments, tied a towel around his waist, then washed the feet of His disciples.” (John 13:1-15). This meal is His last supper, the institution of the Eucharist and the scrubbing of nasty feet. HUH?
Good Friday commemorates Jesus’ death on the cross. The incarnate God embraces every aspect of humanity even death - death on a cross. As agonizing as it is to recall and walk the road to Calvary with Jesus, we hold onto the deep belief that the depth of God’s love for us is revealed in this ultimate sacrifice. Jesus loves each of us so deeply that He willingly dies an agonizing, human death. The cross is our reminder to live sacrificially for the greater good of others. That is what true, deep love is: living for the greater good of others even unto death. “No one greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” (John 15:13)
Holy Saturday, in the evening’s twilight a fire is lit, a flame burns on the tip of a wick and the entire church sings, “Lumen Christi. Deo grátias.” “Light of Christ. Thanks be to God.” In the darkness of night a beacon of light shines resplendently. This beacon of light is Christ. And Christ's light dispels all darkness, all sin and death, from the beginning of time to now...and beyond! The promise of Christ is now fulfilled and together we sing, “ALLELUIA! CHRIST HAS RISEN.” We live this belief and sing this joyful song every time we gather in sacred liturgy. We sing “ALLELUIA!” abundantly during the Easter season beginning on Holy Saturday, then continue Sunday after Sunday.
These 3 very special days for Catholic believers is not merely a holy season, but a way of life. Looking at these 3 days in reverse may give us a perspective as believers in Christ. The resurrection on Holy Saturday night is celebrated every week. Sunday after Sunday the church refers to our gathering as “a little Easter.” Week after week we are reminded we are an Easter people promising eternal life in the risen Christ for all of us! But then comes Monday and we are back to the grind oftentimes facing the sufferings of life, the calvary moments, of Good Friday. Life’s crucifixions, calvary moments, we don’t face alone. The risen Christ is with us. And because He is with us, we must be with those who are most in need, in the calvary moments of others. This takes us back to Holy Thursday to the Gospel message of washing feet and being of service to others, which sometimes happens in nasty circumstances when life is overwhelming. Then, from washing feet, we return to the meal where the risen Christ feeds us with his Body and Blood.
The meaning of “living the mysteries” or “living the life, death and resurrection of Christ.” is our participation in these 3 holy days, every day of our life. The sacred promise of Resurrection and eternity comes with calvary. The washing of feet, service to those most in need, becomes our responsibility to one another after being fed the Bread of Life. We are fed on Sundays and poured out for others on Mondays. These 3 holy days are fluid, flowing one day to the other. The one constant in these days and every day is the “ONE” who washes feet, who cries out from a cross and then is risen from the dead in an eternal victory. We are called to live oneness, in communion with the “ONE” who feeds us, who dies for us and who rises for us, all the while being in communion with one another. These 3 days - and every day - should be the way of Life for Every Catholic Believer. “ALLELUIA!”
Deacon Tim Schutte