Where Charity And Love Prevail

Where charity and love prevail, there God is ever found; Brought here together by Christ’s love, by love are we thus bound. With grateful joy and holy fear God’s charity we learn; Let us with heart and mind and soul now love God in return. Forgive we now each other’s faults as we our faults confess; And let us love each other well in Christian holiness. Let strife among us be unknown, let all contention cease; Be God’s the glory that we seek, be ours God’s holy peace. Let us recall that in our midst dwells God’s begotten Son; As members of his body joined, we are in Christ made one. No race or creed can love exclude, if honored be God’s name; Our family embraces all whose Father is the same. Paul Benoit

If you are looking for knitting, you will find none today. I decided on Wednesday that I would set the needles aside throughout the Triduum (Thursday until Sunday). Consider it my own days of rest from unnecessary work and distractions.

The darkest days on the Christian calendar are accompanied by such beautiful works of art and music. Consider La Pieta . Or just read the words above, an expansion of the song Ubi Caritas. It is hard to read those words and be unmoved.

Maundy Thursday is the foundation of the Christian faith. A table is set for the faithful, the Paschal mystery begins. The next step, today’s journey, leads us to Golgotha. The cross. The Great Sacrifice. From there, we are taken to a darkened tomb. And we wait. If the story ended in that dark and dank tomb, then there would be very little to tell.

But for now, we are waiting. Sunday will come, but to rush over today, to ignore the brutal truth of it, is to gloss over the very thing that makes Sunday such an important day.

Without death, there could not be resurrection; and death is never a beautiful thing.

My mother told me as a child that she felt Catholics focused too much on the death of Christ, as seen in the crucifixes and Stations of the Cross. I now feel that her denomination ignores this aspect of the Resurrection too much. A cross without Christ means less to me than an empty tomb with carefully folded burial clothes.

Christ did not disappear from the cross. At no point is an empty cross visualized in the Gospels. He was taken from the cross, with charity and love, by someone who loved and grieved for him when all others had abandoned him. With charity and love, he was prepared for his final rest. Without hope, but with much love, he was placed in the tomb.

Imagine if you were Mary or Joseph of Arimathea. Your friend, son, companion, and teacher, has been executed and all hope that he was who he said he was seems to have gone out. They could not gloss over this day. They had to hold their grief in their hearts, without the anticipation that we are fortunate to have today.

Their hope came in the form of an empty tomb, but some forty hours would pass before that hope could be relit within them.

The wonderful gift we have now is that we are not without hope. But for today, without glossing over the awful reality of the day, let us offer to one another, who are the Body of Christ on Earth today, charity and love, as was offered to Jesus as he was brought down from the cross by those who did not even have the benefit of hope and anticipation. Let us hold our hope in our hearts right next to the grief as we acknowledge the reality of the cross, but waiting, in joyful hope, for the stone to roll back on an empty tomb in a few short days.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] found a lovely acapella rendition of Where Charity and Love Prevail for your Sunday hymn: Where charity and love prevail, there God is ever found; Brought here together […]

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