Today’s find: Preparations

In the pre-dawn gloom, I encountered a beacon of hope this morning: a trio of long-dark light fixtures illuminating the iconic bell tower at my parish once again.

And not only “light,” I was assured: soon “sound” will emanate from the three bells, too – their full function restored after many years of silence (due to disrepair.)

It’s a “holy” appropriate way to ring in the Easter season, is it not – this joyfully intrusive peal of Good News? “Jesus is risen!” our three bells are preparing to proclaim…and everyone in the neighborhood will hear.

But the bells remain quiet for the moment, biding their time…after having undergone many months of (often confounding) repair regimens. And in their silence, they reminded me of a spiritual puzzle I’ve been chewing on this week.


Waiting in silence (at least for the moment)…before announcing the Good News at Easter.

On Monday, we heard a gospel story of two people – two good friends of Jesus – preparing for his Pasch in quite different ways.

Mary of Bethany – we’re told – breaks open her purse to purchase expensive aromatic nard…and with it, to anoint Jesus’ feet. She clearly has heard, and internalized, what Jesus has told the disciples about his impending suffering and death. She may not understand this prediction in the least…but she does not disregard it. She listens, and allows the mystery to change her daily routine.

Presumably, Judas Iscariot has heard these strange things, too, from Jesus’ lips. But nothing in his heart has moved off self-center. He appears to proceed toward the Cross with all his biases and expectations set firmly in place. And I wonder if the rest of the Apostles don’t find themselves in much the same place, spiritually, as Judas – tending to tune Jesus out when he says things they don’t understand?

That’s a big danger this time of year, isn’t it? We’ve heard the stories of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection so many times that they tend to bounce off our hearts…they fail to penetrate our spirits. But I was blessed earlier this week to learn about a brand new musical setting of The Passion released by the University of Notre Dame Folk Choir. I’ve listened to it once already on Spotify – it tells the familiar Holy Week story from a different perspective, that of the first disciples…reflecting on their experience of the Lord’s Supper and the crucifixion, but before having witnessed the resurrection.

I need to hear this music, I realize. Like Mary of Bethany, I want to make it part of my preparations…in order to get my heart moving off self-center…and enter more fully into the mystery of the Pasch.

Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.


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3 thoughts on “Today’s find: Preparations

  1. Mary Kopuster

    Good one. Liked the bells.

  2. Mary Jost

    Getting my heart off self center and enter more fully into the mystery of the Pasch. I like that John.
    Happy Easter.
    Mary Jost

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