Reflecting on John 10: 11-18
I had the most beautiful experience on Holy Thursday. I was sitting next to a very sweet man who appeared to be a little confused about the rituals of that unique night—the ringing of the bells at the Gloria, the washing of the feet, the transfer of the Holy Eucharist to the altar of repose.
It was then, as the lights dimmed and the congregation began to follow in procession, singing the ancient hymn of adoration Pange Lingua, that he turned to me and said, “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s going on. Am I supposed to be doing something?”
What a thrill to be asked to explain “what’s going on”. It reminded me of the ritual Passover meal, where the youngest child is prompted to ask, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” And then the rest of the family jumps in to tell the wondrous story of their liberation from slavery in Egypt.
We walked in procession, and I explained that we were remembering Jesus and his night of solitary prayer at Gethsemane before his arrest. He listened with a heart utterly open to all the beauty that the rituals of Holy Week and Easter reveal.
And he told me, in a reverent whisper, that he was returning to the church on Easter morning. He had been gone for forty years.
On this Good Shepherd Sunday I think of the millions who have left us, and I grieve for us and for them. We wait in joyful hope for the day when we are all one again. Because there is so, so much beauty here. “What’s going on?” he asked me. “Oh,” I grinned. “I can’t wait to tell you.”
How can you tell the Good News to your own family members?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015