"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people, and hallelujah is our song."
My meditation this week is from Pope John Paul II. And I will not be changing it for a few days. My reasons are (1) the season we find ourselves in, and (2) the poetry of the meditation has gotten into my very soul. And I want to keep it there.
But I would like to begin to explore it.
Today is Palm/Passion Sunday. It begins Holy Week. And this week is the apex of the Church calendar, within it is the totality of our being. As Fr Stephen Freeman says: All is Pascha.
John Paul the Great often said, "Do not be afraid." And these words are the exposition and rising action of our lives, our two-act plays. O! The comfort these words bring. And they lead to the blessed climax and denouement: We are the Easter people. All is Pascha.
Our lives turn upon this week. They climax in the Triduum and resolve with a shout. And after, we live in the New Day, the day without an end - we live in Pascha.
So there is nothing to fear.
But, even still, I do.
I fear failure. I fear being dismissed and rejected. I fear the darkness within and without. I fear having to die that Christ might live in me. I fear that others will discover that I am a fraud. A hack. A poser. A sinner.
What is it you fear?
Do not be afraid. Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Community of Pardon. Our gospel is reconciliation. It is peace. We, each one of us, entered the kingdom through pardon. And each one of us remains in it by that same mercy so freely given.
We are loved. Therefore, brothers and sisters, do not abandon yourselves to despair.