Dear Beloved in Christ,
In the words of the hymn from last night and from the Royal Hours service this morning, “Today, He who suspended the earth in the waters is suspended on a cross. … The Bridegroom of the Church is fixed with nails to the cross.”
Today is the day. Today our Lord gives His great sacrifice so that we can be saved. Today the Blameless One, the spotless Lamb, is offered on behalf of a sinful people.
In the hymns of Holy Week, the word “today” is repeated numerous times, inviting us to step out of a chronological way of thinking. The hymns are not saying, “2,000 years ago,” nor are they saying that we should relive these events as a remembrance. They are boldly asserting that the events of our Lord’s passion, though bounded by time, are also eternal. Jesus Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” He is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.”
Today the Church invites us, as temporal, created beings bounded by time and space, to enter into the eternal, unending life of God, Who perpetually sacrifices Himself for us. I am one of those who crucified the Christ. I am the disciple who denied and betrayed Him. Yet I am also one of the faithful who goes to the Lord’s tomb early on the third day.
This is the reality of the eternal “today” spoken of in the hymns. Today you are invited to participate in that reality. Come to the services!
PS Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick offered a powerful homily this past Sunday regarding our time of quarantine called, “This Holy Week is Not Okay.” I highly recommend reading this!