Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Coolest Thing I Heard This Easter

So, it's over. The Easter Triduum -- that is, the high holy days of Holy Week -- Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. Phew!

When I was a kid, I don't think we went to any of the services except Sunday. I can remember as I got serious about becoming a Jesuit all this talk about a "Triduum", and thinking, what's all this, then? (And more importantly, is it mandatory?)

These days, lo, so many years later, what I like about these services is how they offer so many different doorways into an experience of God. There's all the normal stuff, which is good, but then there's also lots of unique moments -- the washing of the feet; the veneration of the cross; the use of darkness and fire; the singing of the Exultet. And on and on. There may be too much in any one year for any of us, but if you've never gone to any of these services, it's worth trying one or another, because each can be rewarding in a pretty unique way.

So, my favorite moment this year: I was at a service on Good Friday at Boston College's St. Mary's Chapel. And in the homily, the priest told this story:
My sister has a friend whose daughter was diagnosed with a terrible disease that required a blood transfusion to fix, but she had a very rare blood type.

And the only match was the girl's 9 year old brother. And when his parents explained that his donation would save his sister's life, he agreed. But he seemed upset. And his mother thought perhaps he was worried about his sister, but she didn't push him.

After the transfusion, his sister all well, it came out that the little boy had not been upset because he thought his sister was going to die, but because he thought in giving his blood to his sister, HE was going to die. So basically, he had agreed to the transfusion thinking it would kill him.
And then the priest said this:
The true measure of our generosity is not how much we give, but how much we keep for ourselves.

How about that for challenging! Crikey!

How did God speak to you this Easter?

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