Saturday, December 15, 2012

We Need a Little Easter this Christmas

I didn't sleep much last night. Every time I turned (again) or plumped my pillow (again), it was as though I was with the parents and family members of the Newtown massacre, facing that atrocity. I just kept praying for them all, and in a special way for the first responders who will probably need years of therapy to come to terms with what they had to deal with.

For my Advent reading, I have been reflecting on Pope Benedict's "Christmas" book, Jesus of Nazareth : The Infancy Narratives. Throughout, he notes the way Matthew and Luke, in telling the Christmas story, are at pains to keep tying it in with the story of Christ's passion and death. Today--how timely--I read the chapter on Herod's slaughter of the innocents. Matthew quotes the Old Testament words about Rachel's grief, for which there can be no comfort. The Pope comments: The only true consolation that is more than mere words would be the resurrection. Only in the resurrection could the wrong be overcome."

Spirituality talk in recent decades has not exactly focused on the Passion of Christ; that is, we have been told, dangerously "morbid."  And so who ever prays the Stations of the Cross outside of Lent? But the Passion and Death of Christ puts us on the path to Easter. And walking the way of the Cross in Christ's steps gives us more of a chance to see Him at our side on our Via Crucis.

I've never been to St. Rose of Lima church in Newtown, CT, a parish that lost perhaps ten members in yesterday's shootings. I wonder what it's like inside. I wonder what their Stations of the Cross are like. Do they have an image of the Pieta, where mothers and fathers can find that they are not alone in their awful grief? The fifth joyful mystery also offers some mysterious hope. Not necessarily in the joy of reunion, but in solidarity with Mary and Joseph in their anguish about the lost Child.

These final days of Advent (the Christmas novena starts tomorrow) will surely be the deepest Passiontide imaginable for the families of Newtown. May the grace of Easter shine on them.

1 comment:

anne ishikawa said...

it a very sad time of the people of ct. On the day it happened I too was very restless and spent most of the time watching that new on line being in the uk i am thankful for our gun laws and yet my heart goes out to every person.

It got me to thinking about our society as a whole and it saddens me to realize that the hope is being lost

How do we as Christian share the hope that our faith values so highly

your piece was very beautifully

My prayer will join yours and the world i am sure