Crosses at the Crossroads: The Place of Death

April 2, 2017

In this week of Lent we once again are invited to ask the hard questions.  Last week we entered the paradox of blindness. Now Jesus will travel with us to the places where we entomb death.  In the deepest reality, this week before us is one filled with incredible pain and brutal honesty.  Jesus is preparing us to realize at every place of death there is the opportunity of new life.  This is found most profoundly in His own life.  It is found in the mystery of a suffering Savior who gave up His life to set us free from sin.  But in His great sacrifice He is alive and so are we.

So we must ask ourselves the hard question, what have we buried away?   What have we pushed deep into the recesses of our lives so no light may ever penetrate where we have entombed it?  Most of the time it is hurt and pain from a long time ago.  It might have been an argument when hurtful words were used as a weapon so cruel, you had to bury what was said.  Sometimes it is a betrayal that cost you your ability to ever trust again.  What are those things that we hide?

In the paradox of a life with Christ this is the place where new life occurs.  Jesus longs for faith and the reliance on faith to bring a new light of life to what we have hidden and entombed.  He gives strength when one forgives another.  He heals the pain of the poison of sin.  He longs to bring into the light the opportunity to heal and have a new life relying on His love.  This week is crucial to our final preparation for Holy Week.  We must trust that new life and healing is possible in our own lives for us to enter wholeheartedly into what the mystery will do for us and with us and through us at the Holy Triduum of the sacred three days.  When we find it in us, we can grow to trust ever more deeply in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  He longs for us to be free of the self-inflicted tombs where we bury things.

In the Scriptures we see that faith is strengthened through trust.  When we look back at our lives, some of the most painful experiences have led us to incredible growth and new life.  While it is not easy, everything we have done during the weeks of Lent leads us to this week.  What we bury, what we hold back from God will never lead us to the light Christ offers.  When we humbly admit our need to die to sin and trust forgiveness, when we offer the Lord everything we have entombed, He will loosen the bonds of sin and embrace us in the light.  Where is the place of death in our lives?  Let Him in.

Reverend John J. Ouper