Posted by: Peadar Ban | March 22, 2016

Today, March 22, 2016: Tuesday of Holy Week

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I don’t know enough about the many folk among my friends who are not Catholic to know if they follow what we call the Liturgical Calendar, where Catholics in all places “keep time”, march to a different drum so to speak. (Well, I hope they still do.)  We have filled it with the seasons and days that help us remember the men and women who went before, the events and happenings which have occurred to help us realize both the reality of this particular moment, and the real meaning of all moments; who we are in the world, and where the world is in creation.

So, today is marked on the liturgical calendar as the Tuesday of Holy Week.  It has no special name beyond that; but that is enough to remind me, and many others, still, I hope, that we are in the midst of echoing an event that shattered the world.  I have often wondered, since the record of this week in history is silent about events between Palm Sunday’s procession and Holy Thursday’s opening act on the Passion, what today must have been like in Jerusalem on Tuesday of the First Holy Week.  Where did they go those first three days after Palm Sunday. Until that supper in the Upper Room?  What did they do?  What did He do?

Who would know at all what today was/is but for the calendar I refer to above.  Most of the world is ignorant. Somewhere it rains.  Somewhere blazing heat beats down.  People in one place are just getting up.  People in another place have begun their preparations for a quiet night.  Babies are born.  Old folks die.  Wars continue.

Tuesday of Holy Week, 2016, will pass unnoticed, unremarked, I suppose; just another Tuesday. Why?  Do we no longer care?  I cannot think so, but the evidence points to that.

It is a bright and beautiful day, and I was reading a book earlier this morning written by Joseph Ratzinger, who may be one day Saint Benedict XVI.  This book, but one of the many he has written, is called “Christianity and the Clash of Cultures”.  A thin thing; a good reader could probably get through it in a few hours.

His book argues that we, most folks, have indeed forgotten. That has come about because, what we have now is “a Christianity and a theology that reduce the core of the message of Jesus, that is, the “kingdom of God” to the “values of the kingdom”, identifying these values with the great slogans of political moralism while at the same time proclaiming that these slogans are the synthesis of the religions.  In this way they forget God, although it is precisely he who is both the subject and the cause of the kingdom.  All that remains in the place of God are the big words (and values) that are open to any kind of abuse.” (Ratzinger: “Christianity, etc.” Ignatius Press, p.29)

Everyone has values.  Just ask them.

They’re like undershirts, or better yet “tschotskes”.  One needn’t wear them, even the “true” ones but, sometimes, they look nice and make you feel better when you tell folks you have them. Folks sometime say, “Those were my values then.  I’ve changed”  They’re fungible.

Would you die for your values?  See what I mean?

There are fewer and fewer folk who “believe”, fewer and fewer folk who can give one a reason for believing.  And, the number of them who can give a theological reason for their belief has, I’ll bet a ham sandwich, diminished to the vanishing point.

The last part’s not necessary, though, is it?  Certainly the men who followed Jesus around Jerusalem on the first Tuesday of the first Holy Week could not have given a “theological” reason for their faith, the one which was the cause of all their deaths but one.  At least not until their experience forty five days from today in that crowded room in Jerusalem all those years ago. They died then not for anything like values.  I mean, while one can find the value in burning a little incense to Caesar, what is the value in suffering That Man’s death?  They died for Truth

Anyway, I thought I’d share this with you on a sunny Tuesday, part of that week which changed everything; a hidden, quiet, modest, humble day, like the fellow who wrote the book I’m reading.  The most valuable week, that led to the most Valuable Day ever.

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 Bare Ruined Choirs


 

Reflections from the Saints

The Creed is the spiritual seal, our heart’s meditation and an ever-present guardian; it is, unquestionably, the treasure of our soul.

– St. Ambrose

One Minute Meditations

The Struggle
Days on retreat. Recollection in order to know God, to know yourself and thus to make progress. A necessary time for discovering where and how you should change your life. What should I do? What should I avoid?

– St. Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, #177

Scripture Verse of the Day

Proverbs 23:4-5

Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.


This hymn, the first of several if you wish to stay and listen, was written by St. John of Damascus, a Christian of the Eighth Century, who lives in that part of the world where Christianity was born, and in which it is now being crucified, literally.  Here, it is being exchanged for values and rights:
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