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April 15, 2006

The Day In Between

There is a brief moment in the scriptures in the Passion of the Christ that does not make it into the movie. It is just a brief reference in the scriptures, but the movie skips over it entirely. It is non-existent, unimportant, easily forgotten or dismissed.

This is the moment between the death of Jesus and the first appearance in the experience of the disciples. It is the moment hidden behind the locked doors of fear and flight.

These men had given up everything to join Jesus, to follow him and to become part of his company. They had given up family, job and future. Everything took second place to him. The women, too, had found in him the fullness of hope and salvation. Everything else had become as dust and ashes. Time with him had already transfigured their lives.

Now it had all turned to heartbreak and humiliation: there was no darkness as deep as this. The loss, the hurt, the chaos, the doubt, the guilt, every last bit of life had now been squeezed and crushed from their broken hearts. The very foundation of their life and energy had been cruelly torn out from underneath them. Only despair was humanly appropriate. There was no future, just emptiness and void. It was the deepest experience of shame.

His promise of life had become darker than the shadows in the home for the dead, and the hope he gave them for his victory had turned into a cruel joke. It was unrelenting hopelessness and the only options were to hide or to flee.

Sitting in total darkness, no light was permitted to penetrate the locked doors. Inert bodies may have littered the floor, but there was no one home. Maybe an occasional whimper or the anguish of tears had punctuated the silence, but the terror that they were next kept them in an unforgiving darkness and silence.

The Saturday morning must have been surreal. It had to have been a nightmare. The state of shock numbed them to the truth, but occasional brutal honesty filtered through the ringing in their ears to obliterate any vestige of hope that might linger in the corners of their injured hearts.

Approaching darkness may have filled them with anxiousness and dread, but a full day passing without food or happiness and the reality that there had been no further arrest or invasion may have given room for hatred, anger, resentment and rage to find some space. If sleep were possible, more than likely it was fitful and restless.

The third day dawns with the same barrenness. The earth was without form, empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit hovered over the waters. (Gen. 1:2) The invasion was abrupt and incomprehensible. He stood before them and in an echo of ancient birth he breathed over them and said, ‚ÄúReceive the Holy Spirit.‚Ä?

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at April 15, 2006 3:45 PM

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Comments

Wow.
Did I need to read that....
I just came home from the Vigil, and everything had gone so beautifully, and so prayerfully; the Exultet was exultant (let me tell you, the smart music director marries the cantor extraordinaire,) the "alleluias" all rang out gorgeously, none of the kids in the loft set their hair on fire; the congregation really sang, really joined in; the Gregorian proper for Communion (which the choir had resisted,)had gone well, we had good representation from the ethnic minorities that make up the other parishes in our "cluster," two new Christians/three more making first Communion/FIVE more being confirmed --- and the moment we finished the choral postlude, such racist animosity poured out of some members of our parish, about "THEM", "those people," in whose language WE had to sing songs --- I am heart sick.
Who'd have thought Good Friday would come AFTER the Vigil?
There may not be much choir tomorrow morning, (who knows what the Hallelujah Chorus will sound like wihtout our best sopranoes?), I don't know what bridges were burnt in the argument that ensued, (I didn't have to say anything, some good and generous and welcoming people made my argument for me,) but Indeed, He is risen.
And that's all that matters.
God bless you Fr. Keyes.
Pray for us?

Posted by: G at April 15, 2006 9:15 PM

And here I thought that before the Risen Christ appeared in the locked room on Sunday evening, the women went out in the morning to go to the tomb, admittedly, in the synoptic gospels because they wanted to complete the burial, and saw the Risen One.

Then there's Mary of Magdala, the gospel I so long to hear on an occasional Easter Sunday morning instead of the silly race between Peter and the unnamed Beloved Disciple that we get in all 3 gospel cycles.

And didn't Peter also go to the tomb, to check out the wild tales told by the women, though he saw only the wrappings??

So much for just sitting around.

Posted by: Maureen Lahiff at April 17, 2006 10:03 AM

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