Saturday April 7th 2012 Tim
A tradition has it
that today is Mystery Day.
Otherwise I can see no
possible reason for hiding chocolate eggs around the place and sending
the young and their parents off to quarrel at a chance to find the most
eggs and maybe end their Mystery Day with a visit to a magistrate. And Mystery Day is
well named, because in the next few hours, some years ago, the Son of
God, rises from the dead. He then hangs around for forty days so
he might say goodbye to those who loved him, share a few opinions, and then
he's off into the sunset, and is never heard from again, except in the
whispers of the fearful, and maybe in the wishes of the self important.
If a person believes the tomb
was empty, it's entrance undisturbed, he
can call himself a Christian. And certainly those who call themselves
Christian must grasp the Paschal Mystery, or at least make some attempt
to challenge it, and by so doing define their faith and better
understand what it is they claim. But mostly, it is an answer to
the question what happens to me when I am alone, because my body has
failed. Where do I go, and why do I go there, and wouldn't it be
nice if I never saw my next door neighbor again.
"You don't necessarily have to wear
the hat in church, or wave the bloody flag, you just have to be there."
The Protestant understanding is a more empirical understanding, I'd like to
think. Words reflect, they do not actually exist and are not real, but
spelling and grammar and theory and routine, are like whips. Or else it's
anarchy and we all go to hell. Which is why I hope God too thinks
Protestants are graceless, plodding and very proud to be dull.
So whose fault was it. And oddly, while
with Saint Augustine, it was a fourth century Briton claimed that a person
was free to obey or disobey and therefore able to make his own laws. But
Augustine, who was from a North African port town called Hippo, stuck to his book. "We are all sinners," he assured, and he
pointed to the antics of teenagers back when it was Eden here on earth.
"Pater Noster," Augustine added with that passion of the born
again. "Que es in caelis." The Lord's Prayer.
More recently, bureaucratic wrangling has been blamed. I read
a claim somewhere, probably in the literature of the maladjusted, that
Pontius Pilate had a political ambition that included the overthrow of the
Emperor Tiberius, and to satisfy that ambition he had to control the unruly Province of
Judea, which meant Gentle Jesus had to go, along with two thieves. One
of whom was penitent. The other not so.
And what an incredible day this must be for the faithful.