“When the desire of the Lord comes to us, it comes in the night”

Posting will be light throughout the Triduum. Go ahead, turn off your computers. If you had a “bad Lent,” if you didn’t meet the obligations you set for yourself, find some peace by unplugging and spending the next four days walking the final steps with Christ. He never asked much of us, really. All he wanted was for us to stay awake with him in the garden to pray a bit, and we couldn’t even do that.

I’ll leave you with some words from Papa Bene:

The liturgy for Holy Thursday has a uniquely twofold orientation. On the one hand, the Gloria expresses the joy of the redeemed, who on this day celebrate the victory of the love of Jesus Christ, who has given us the gift of all gifts—himself. But at the same time there is the gradually increasing silence, the eventual emptying of the church, the removal of the Blessed Sacrament.

Both orientations correspond to the events of the first Holy Thursday. They are introduced by the words with which, according to Saint Luke, Jesus began the Last Supper: “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (22:15). This desire of Jesus has permeated his whole life up to this very hour when the desire of the bridegroom at last approaches the hour of its fulfillment, the hour in which the words and the waiting will be succeeded by the full reality of love. And in the background of this human waiting of Jesus that looks forward to this very hour in which he will make the supreme sacrifice and can become ultimately ours, there is present, too, the eternal desire of God, which also awaits this hour, because God longs to give himself.

But what response does this longing on the part of God encounter? How much indifference! How much inner emptiness and disregard! And what about ourselves? Do we really approach this center of the universe with eagerness? Or do we not sometimes flatter ourselves that we are doing God and the Church a favor by spending an hour there with him? Do we not often leave the church with empty hearts and almost as a matter of course, as though we had participated in a rite that had just come to an end? Does it not often happen that, when the desire of the Lord comes to us, it comes in the night?

Pope Benedict XVI, from Ordinariatskorrespondenz, March 23, 1978, in the Logos Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI Collection. Also in C0-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year.

 

About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.


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