‘I have come that they may have life and have it to the full’ (John 10:10)
This month we will live together a series of liturgical dramas. As our 40 days of Lent draw to an end, our minds turn to Holy Week, those crucial events in the life of the Lord which have become so familiar. Familiar, yet relentlessly interesting and thought-provoking. The triumphal entry into Jerusalem; the institution of the Eucharist with the disciples at the Passover; the shocking betrayal of Judas with a kiss – a sign of intimacy and affection; and, finally, the trial, scouring, crucifixion and burial.
The Church invites us to reflect upon and relive, through the liturgy and in our spiritual consciousness, the cosmic significance of these events. We do this by entering into the mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus in our hearts, by opening ourselves to the Word of God and allowing Him to speak to us in our interior lives. Whatever individual message we may hear, they will all be variations on the same theme: that is to say, life and life to the full!
The darkness of Good Friday is scattered by the light of Christ. The power of death is broken and everlasting life in Christ becomes available to all. The purpose of Lent is to give the Lord space to purify and work within us so that we can become more alive, more fully our true and noble selves. Each one of us is an infinitely loveable person. Each one of us is called to an everlasting union with God, but this journey begins in the here and now. The Lord comes to set us free from those inner forces of sin which stifle our being fully alive. He imparts His life-giving love in diverse modes: in the Eucharist; through Confession; and through those lasting and vital bonds of love in our lives.
The Church, the mystical body of Christ, opens us up to a communion of love, primarily the free and unconditional love of God the Father. God loves us as we are while also calling us to that which He knows we can become. He wants us to develop the gifts and talents He gave us so that He may be glorified in us and we in Him.
Let us open our hearts to the bonds of love and life this Easter, trusting in the Lord whose resurrection defeated all that oppresses us – even the last enemy, namely death. Let us never forget that ours is a God of life, a God of hope, a God of Love!