April 7, 2020

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Dear People of God,

It may feel like we’ve been in Holy Week for an age already, but as we begin this year’s sacred “week of weeks,” I invite you to walk it with particular attention. The mystery of suffering is that when we embrace the unavoidable — willingly entering into it rather than trying to skirt it — the burden actually becomes lighter, as Jesus said it would (Matthew 11:28). There is a realness in this moment that is all about Life in its fullness.

We are experiencing a week of strong liturgical drama, and it’s important to remember to just feel whatever you feel. There is no ‘supposed to’ here. The liturgy is the liturgy, and our emotions are our emotions. As the Compline prayer says: “Let it be.” Sometimes they will collide; sometimes they will sync up uncannily. There is no need to drum up feeling; just notice whatever comes up and let that be the invitation to a further conversation with your heart and with with God.

Joy is needed more than ever now. Sorrow and fear lurk just below the surface of our consciousness. The themes of death and life, sacrifice and transformation, loss and renewal are close up in our faces. We are being made new. That is the purpose of this week, and that is the purpose of our lives. Let’s be fully present to both. This is real.

May this week bless and shape us all beyond our imagining, and bring us to the joy of Easter.

Daniel +