As I begin to walk the last lap of Lenten practice, I am prodded by all the charges in sacred text to “walk in the Light!” Jesus claims that he is the Light of the world: “whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8: 12)
However, as I follow the events of Holy Week, I sense and experience a great deal of darkness in Jesus’walk. Where or what is the light? “…whoever does the truth comes into the light,” says Jesus. What truths are Jesus embodying as he walks his way to the cross and the resurrection?
So this week, as I set out to walk the blocks of my neighborhood, my labyrinth, the hills and dales of ordinary life, and do it in solitude, I am taking a Jesus question each day, tracking the daily gospel readings, looking for the light of truth in my own life:
- Sunday- John 12: 12-16: How do I live through parades that are wildly enthusiastic, but are in so many ways misguided and beside the point? Jesus set this own up, made sure it happened; did he anticipate the response? was he making a political/ecclesiastical statement? are there moments when I need to get out there in front of the crowd to be true to the God’s Big Story?
- Monday- John 12: 1-11: Will I allow myself to be grounded in God by receiving the love and care of others on my way to what is mine to do alone? Do the critics have louder voice in my heart and than the loving ones?
- Tuesday- John 12: 20-36: Am I faithful to the good news that I know, to tell it, to explain it, to live it, despite my own anticipation of crisis and pain? Can I tell the truth about what I know despite its edge and possible unpopularity?
- Wednesday- John 13: 21-32: After betrayal, can I go deeply enough into God’s heart to know that somehow God will be glorified despite the pain and chaos that has been let loose ? Can I release the betrayer to do what he or she does without fighting back?
- Thursday- John 13: 1-17, 31b-35: In the midst of tension and grief, is my heart wide enough to offer hospitality to the ones I have been given to love, including washing their feet, if necessary? Can I shape my body and mind into the understanding that Love is my call, no matter what?
- Friday- John 18-19:42- I confess that I am not sure what questions are mine in the gruesome and painful accounts of the day we call Good Friday; what light of truth am I to follow, what am I being asked to learn? Certainly I see how Jesus knows about pain, torture and betrayal. I see how well-intentioned friends, trying to be faithful, are daunted by the face of cruel and evil oppression. This Jesus is not unfamiliar or untouched by the dark side of human grief. However, I am most deeply touched by the way that he never loses his place, his call, his certainty that what he is doing is what he his called to do by the One he calls Abba. My Good Friday question might be one of whether or not and how I can be able to have that same faithfulness to the Mystery, no matter the level of suffering.
- On Saturday, all is still in this drama. I will need this quiet day of sitting with the questions, letting the Light illuminate the truths of the Mystery as the gospellers reveal them, walking in prayer, more mulling that deciding, awaiting Resurrection.
This week I join the cadence of the Psalmist singing, “Send out your light and your truth that they may lead me…I will walk in the presence of God in the land of the living.”