Lent is an endurance course, filled with hills & dips, with boulders that block & pebbles that turn the foot, and with the occasional breath-taking view. The last three days, Triduum, are the cruelest of all, for the path climbs straight up, straining our spiritual muscles to the breaking point.
It begins with Maundy Thursday, best known as ‘foot washing day’. Someone on a forum asked, “It makes me really uncomfortable. What’s up with foot washing?” Well, it’s about remembering that the Christ path is first and foremost about serving, especially those whose feet are dirty. It’s about taking our shoes off and realizing that our feet are dirty, too. It’s about washing others’ feet without judging. It’s about being humble, and letting someone else wash your feet – without worrying about whether or not you’re being judged.
And really, it’s not about feet at all. It’s the intimacy we’re uncomfortable with, isn’t it? But Jesus called us to be personal, to be intimate, to be truly loving with one another. We need to have MORE foot washing, to break through our barriers. Because if such an innocuous thing makes us uncomfortable, we can be sure we’ve placed even higher blockades on more important matters.
Good Friday reminds us that neither government nor society are just arbiters. It shoves into our faces the truth that soldiers, left alone, may torture and mock. That government convicts innocent people. Then and now, we should be horrified when anyone’s dignity is cast aside.
Jesus’ death was not ordained of God, not part of some convoluted plan to save us from a self-bound deity. His death was man-made, because then and now, we will go to any lengths to silence those who pull us from our comfortable delusions. Good Friday gives us the opportunity to contemplate our chains – and the chains of others.
On Holy Saturday, we sit in stillness with Our Lady of Solitude, grieving that which is gone. This is the hardest day- to just sit in our discomfort. If you’re like me, you don’t want to endure, you want to cure. But unless we understand the causes of our pain, we don’t correct, we only mask.
So, we sit silently with all who grieve, all who have lost love, homes, jobs, dignity, hope. We must understand their pain, because Easter resurrection will come for them only if we, the hands and hearts of Christ, bring it.
Finally, FINALLY, after this three day period that lasts forever, we reach the resurrection summit. Our Triduum tears have cleared our eyes, and we can see for miles.