As the St. Louis leg of our canonical novitiate journey draws quickly to a close, so do our Inter Community Novitiate gatherings. Next Wednesday, we will be meeting as a group for the last time.
Last Wednesday, Fr. Dave Kelly, C.PP.S. ~ Executive Director of the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR), spoke with us about our call, as religious, to be Ambassadors of and for Reconciliation. Fr. Dave suggested that the bulk of our work lies not in Holy Thursday, not in Good Friday, not in Easter Sunday, but in Holy Saturday… the time ‘in between’ the darkness of Good Friday and the light that is the Easter Resurrection. As a society built on immediacy, we often skip the ‘in between’ space where the tension borne of waiting and anticipation, between the pain of conflict and the life of reconciliation, is held. Christmas is an example of the former… carols are played in stores months in advance; holiday parties take place almost before Advent begins; and shopping starts well before Thanksgiving. An example of the latter? Well, liberation theologists remind us that filling the stomach of one living in poverty doesn't eliminate the poverty… that the space between identifying the root causes of poverty and eradicating that poverty is where our work lies.
I’ve been thinking about that concept a lot since Wednesday. What Fr. Dave said makes sense to me. If I look back at Good Friday, I’m not quite there. If I look ahead to Easter and the Resurrection, I’m not quite there (although signs of the Resurrection are in and all around me.) Holy Thursday isn’t an event so much as a call… an ongoing call to minister to the needs of our sisters and brothers. That ministering is done in the space between the Good Fridays and Easter Sundays of our lives… that space where we live, and work, and play, and hurt, and hunger, and long for, and love; where the hard work of healing begins.
We absolutely ARE an Easter people; our song absolutely IS Alleluia! But, I don't know... I think God might be calling us to live and to work as a Holy Saturday people, in that tension between the sorrow of Good Friday and the incredible Joy of the Resurrection.
May God give us peace and strength as we make that journey together, in love!