Thank you for joining us throughout this Holy Week for the Way of the Cross in the Time of COVID 19.
When we began, we invited you to “walk” the Way of the Cross with Jesus, meaning to walk beside him to see what Jesus saw, to feel what Jesus felt, to suffer what Jesus suffered, to bear the Cross that Jesus bore through the winding streets of Jerusalem and up the Mount of Calvary to where he would be nailed to a cross to suffer and die – for you and me.
We began this journey with the Last Supper, when he took Bread, and gave it to you and me, saying, “This is my Body, which I give up for you.” Take and eat. “This is my Blood which is poured out for you.” Take and drink.
We walked with Jesus to the foot of his Cross, where we beheld his Body, bruised and battered, given up for me. At the foot of the Cross we looked up and saw Jesus’ blood poured out for me.
We recalled Jesus’ words that he was not alone. “The Father and I are one” he said. So we invited you, walking with Jesus, to be present to his innermost self as he embraced his Cross, fell under its weight, carried it to the Mount of sacrifice, where he was stripped of his clothes and dignity, nailed to the Cross, and lifted up, an object of unjust punishment and ridicule, but where, dying, he dealt death its death blow.
We invited you, walking with him, to feel his oneness in Spirit with his Father, loving you and loving me in this painful way of redemption, in this way of love, this way of restoring life to you and me, this Way of the Cross.
Before, when I was much younger, the Fourteen Stations of the Cross began with the condemnation of Jesus to death and ended with Jesus being laid in the tomb. But today, as we have celebrated it, the Way of the Cross begins with the Last Supper, where Jesus consciously offers his Body and Blood up in sacrifice for you and for me and it ends not with His Death but with His Resurrection. The Last Supper is one with Jesus’ Passion and Death, and his Passion and Death are one with his Resurrection. The Way of the Cross is then Jesus’ Way of the Resurrection. By having suffered and died on the Cross, he won Resurrection, new life, for you and for me.
We do not live unto death then, we live unto life. Death has lost its sting. Death has been shamed. Death has been overcome. We live unto the fullness of life that the Father gives us in Love in His Way of the Cross, which is his Way of Resurrection.
We must remember that even as we continue to battle the Coronavirus we do not live unto death but unto life. With our first responders, we fight for the life of every victim of the virus, celebrate every recovery, mourn every death, and claim resurrection for every loved one lost. This Easter, this Day of the Resurrection we insist: we do not live unto death, we live unto life. We do not let this Coronavirus rob us of life, but living, we fight it, and cooperate with all the authorities who direct us towards defeating it, whether it means going to the frontlines to save lives, or staying home to preserve life. Living, we let the Coronavirus occasion new life in us: remorse for our sins, reconciliation with our enemies, reconciliation with our environment, reconciliation with our God, uplifting our culture of being human, deepening our solidarity with the poor, humanizing collaboration with our co-workers, deepening our appreciation of our friends, sanctifying our way of loving. Pope Francis has urged us at this time to be creative in love. That also means be creative in life, be creative in creating and celebrating new life. Find ways, despite the cramped situation we are confined to, to learn new things, to cook new dishes, to play new games, to sing new songs, to write fresh poetry, to paint new landscapes, to imagine new horizons, to dream of a way of really living, to do good to others, to cheer people up, and be a source of life and hope for people – in the power of the Resurrection.
That is how we walk our Way of the Cross. We walk in the Way of the Resurrection. Thank you for journeying with us.
Happy Easter to all of you!