Holy Week and Easter Sunday are done. Put to rest. The music and responses have been sung(I’m a parish musician – could you tell?). The pressure is off. Or is it?
Jack, our pastor, made a telling observation in his Easter homily. The Resurrection took place on the first day of the week – a work day, it seems, as it was the day after the Sabbath. And so it is with us. Jesus is Risen! This is not [just] a Sunday event. It means that we must see the resurrection, must see Christ all week. Everyday. At work. At home. On the road to Emmaus. As we break bread at lunch and dinner. Over coffee and bagels and prayer on Wednesday morning at 7 am.
About coffee and bagels and prayer on Wednesday morning… This meeting seems to be one of my lifelines. As we share, we first reflect on our “closest moment” — the time when we most clearly felt or saw the presence of Jesus/God in our lives in the past week. In theory, we are to move on to what we have learned in the past week to make us more Christian, and what actions we have taken to follow the path. In reality, we seldom formally get past those closest moments.
That’s ok by me. For it is in the reflection and telling of those moments that I begin to understand how I have been changed (if indeed I have) and how my interactions with others might help or hinder in bringing God into my world in a concrete way. I look at the past week, and see a hand that touched me. That reminds me of something that happened a week before. Which calls up something from further back. Pretty soon the picture becomes not a portrait, but an exquisitely detailed landscape that helps me to see not only close up but also with the wide-angle lens.
This remembering helps me to understand the Eucharist. It’s not just recalling a event from the past, but rather a bringing that event to life here and now. To remember in this way opens my eyes, just as I imagine the eyes of the disciples were opened at the breaking of the bread or when Thomas was allowed to touch Jesus’ hands for himself. Suddenly, even if I wasn’t totally aware at the time, I can see where God is walking beside me. With practice, then perhaps I can be aware of this even as it happens (not always, but ocasionally)… and be able to be more forgiving, more understanding, more able and willing to act in the present. To dispense with the horses and chariots and not get bogged down and drown.