Monday, 25 April 2011


GospelMatthew 28:8-15 

Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell the disciples.
  And there, coming to meet them, was Jesus. ‘Greetings’ he said. And the women came up to him and, falling down before him, clasped his feet. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; they will see me there.’
  While they were on their way, some of the guard went off into the city to tell the chief priests all that had happened. These held a meeting with the elders and, after some discussion, handed a considerable sum of money to the soldiers with these instructions, ‘This is what you must say, “His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.” And should the governor come to hear of this, we undertake to put things right with him ourselves and to see that you do not get into trouble.’ The soldiers took the money and carried out their instructions, and to this day that is the story among the Jews.

Catherine de Hueck Doherty, in her book 'Poustinia' talks of her native Russia and  beggar pilgrims known as the jurodivia;  those who are called to a life of abject poverty, prayer and pilgrimage. They follow the instructions given by Jesus to his disciples regarding what they might carry with them and leave the rest to God. They are often considered simpletons or fools and this pleases them very well - because they are - they are fools for Christ. They pray for God's forgiveness for calling his Son a fool. 

Just yesterday, the Resurrection brought us all into a new world of redemption; the unique pivotal moment of our relationship with our God who sacrifices all for us, and today we are trying to put it all into perspective. 

Pilate asked, during Jesus' trial, 'What is truth?' and did not receive an answer. Answers are generally much less important than questions, in life generally and certainly where faith is concerned. When there is uncertainty people will grasp at answers for many reasons -because they want life to make sense; because they do not wish to be taken for fools. 

Having come so far in the past weeks, the desert journey of Lent; the calling and falling, the reliving of Holy Week - anticipation, theatre, ritual, tragedy and celebration - we may feel something of an anti-climax today as the Church gets it breath back. Many people making the comment that it will be good to get 'back to normal'; putting the purples and the reds back into their boxes. The Spring break over , we could have the time back that we have given to prayer and contemplation, we could be returning to a rational, reasonable life.

On Easter Sunday Jesus escaped the tomb. In fear, his enemies covered up the truth - covered it so well that they believe to this day.

Our Easter journey will hopefully have allowed God to escape the 'box', the restrictions,  we have created within ourselves. We will have new questions, new directions  and new roads to travel. This is a time of renewal and rebirth for all of us; if we can cling to the Truth that our faith guides us to believe in, in spite of its foolishness and uncertainty, then the Truth will indeed be stranger than fiction but it will be more important than being taken for fool - indeed there will be no need to even try to ' get back to normal'. 


1 comment:

Philomena Ewing said...

Yes, it's a strange feeling after the intensity of Holy Week. I love your piece from Catherine de Hueck Doherty - a great woman and writer too.
Blessings to you and hope the joy of the risen Lord stays with you !