Holy Thursday

Good Friday


Easter thoughts from a Marist Priest in Auckland…
As we prepare to celebrate Holy Week and Easter within the Christian tradition and persons clamour to post and then log onto opportunities to experience a “virtual” Easter, I would like to offer an alternative and that is to do nothing. Or, rather, experience “absence” in a very real way. The absence that Mary and the first disciples experienced that first Good Friday after the death of Jesus. They left Golgotha having just witnessed the death of a Son and a dear friend. As with every death what was left was a vaccuum. They knew nothing of the Easter experience that was to come. We, on the other hand read the Gospels somewhat like someone reading a novel having checked that the hero, or heroine, is still alive at the end. Mary and the first disciples knew only absence and emptiness. And what did they do? Self isolated! This Holy Week and Easter provides us with a wonderful moment to really experience these events as absence and so journey with Mary and those first disciples. St John of the Cross names this absence a “dark night”. As our Scripture says “a darkness came over the whole land” (Mk. 15:33). Or as the poet remarks, “to go into darkness with a light is to know the light; to know the darkness, go dark.” It will not be easy, however, neither is standing under a cross and watching your Son be crucified! St Ignatius of Loyola has in his text, “The Spiritual Exercises” at the conclusion of the Third Week with its focus on the Passion and Death of Jesus, suggests the retreatant take Mary to their home post Golgotha. I would like to suggest this as a prayer experience for this Easter. (There is no Scripture text one needs be faithful to!). Take Mary home, sit her down at the kitchen table, put the kettle on, and, when the tea is brewed and poured out, talk together about each of your experiences of Jesus, (gingernuts for dunking are an optional extra).