[gtranslate] Is Alleluia Not Our Song? - Eglise Catholique Saint James (Saint Jacques)

Is Alleluia Not Our Song?

Is Alleluia Not Our Song?

It was my first Passion Week as a newly ordained priest, and we had just finished services for Thursday of Mysteries and Service of the Washing of the Feet. The pastor and I sunk into our couch chairs, beginning to feel the exhaustion set in from the fourth night of services in a row, knowing the climax had not yet been reached. I noticed how quiet it suddenly felt. “I love the silence,” he responded. Then it hit me: “isn’t it crazy how silent the whole world seems over these next few days?” It is as if everything stops and sits in waiting for what’s to come. The daily toll of busyness takes a break, and quiet anticipation extends over this triduum of holiness. But then Monday comes along. No sooner does the tomb open, then our lives resume their fiasco, and the silence breaks.

Imagine the confused look on the face of Pope St. John Paul II as he questions us again: are we not the Easter people?! Is Alleluia not our song? If so, why does it feel that the new theme song of the feast becomes “Closing Time” by Semisonic? Our time’s up. Time to get back out into that world. The lights are turned on. Only the wrong kind of light.

It’s worth pondering this for a minute, asking ourselves how quickly we ran out of the beaming Light that shone forth from the tomb and into the shade of our earthly routines. St. Paul was right: would not our lives mean something completely different had the tomb not been empty on Easter morning? (cf. 1 Cor 15:14) Why do so many go about their lives without the renewed sense of purpose that this great Feast offers? Perhaps, it is because we have forgotten who we are and the lyrics to the song we should be singing.

This isn’t a newfound crisis. Weren’t the apostles found doing the same, returning to the lives they knew before they joined the Way? (cf. Jn 21:1-3) The crisis now has been exasperated by modern culture, but Our Lord knew this would be the case. The Creator knows His creation. For this reason, He made us a promise that we didn’t even know we needed. (cf. Jn 14:17) He would send us the Advocate to remind us of everything He knew we would forget soon after He rose.

How powerful to recall how the still, silent moments of the Triduum are contrasted with the events at Pentecost. A strong wind overcomes the crowds, and the awaited Spirit of Fire comes down upon all present. (cf. Acts 2:15)

It’s the Holy Spirit who will help us get our groove back.

It’s the Holy Spirit that will sound the alarm on the dominating culture we are living through.

It’s the Holy Spirit who will allow us to live our days through a constant connection with the Resurrection and not in spite of it.

It is the Holy Spirit who takes the silence of Easter morning and transposes it to an echoing of the Good News that is to be preached through the lives of the Redeemed people.

It is the Holy Spirit who will repeatedly affirm us as the Easter people.

It is the Holy Spirit who will remind us of the lyrics to the song we should be singing.

To a consumerist world, Easter Monday may signal the start of clearance sales on candy and treats. But to a faithful Christian, Easter Monday should have signaled a “new” beginning of a life meant to be lived in light of the Resurrection, through the Resurrection, and for the Resurrection:

  • In light of the Resurrection because our lives going forward carry a new purpose, made possible only as a result of the empty tomb.
  • Through the Resurrection because our actions going forward are triggered by a new motivation, made possible only as a result of the empty tomb.
  • For the resurrection because our existence going forward is understood in terms of an end that signals a beginning, made possible only as a result of the empty tomb.

We cannot expect a consumerist society, driven by valueless instant gratification, to change its ways if we don’t first change the hearts of the members of the society, who have been redeemed by the Resurrection—beginning with ourselves.

We cannot expect a culture which has destroyed the meaning of relationship, leaving us with the highest societal divorce rate, to change if we don’t first comprehend the love of God, love of self, and love of others.

We cannot expect a culture that works so hard to erase all mention of our Creator to change, if we don’t first understand of the purpose of our creation.

We cannot be upset about a culture that has left our pews empty, if we don’t acknowledge the worship due to our Savior when He rolled back that giant stone.

Change is necessary for us to reclaim our truth. Ideally, this is a change that would’ve taken place that Sunday morning, but for many of us that might not have been the case. This should not be seen as a missed opportunity. That’s the beauty of a Resurrected Lord who never tires of waiting, so much so that He appeared and re-appeared to His followers several times.

Even this far from Resurrection Sunday and so close to the arrival of the Paraclete, it should never be seen as “too late” to reclaim the silence associated with a world in waiting for her Lord, to run away from the comfortable shade and back into that beaming Light, to skip the clearance sales on the holiday treats and remind ourselves that the gift we receive on Easter Sunday is perpetual and always available to us at no cost, so long as we desire it.

St. Pope John Paul II was right: “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!” But each of us now have to ask ourselves, are we open to change? If so, we then ask: what song am I singing?

Photo by mauro mora on Unsplash

Seeking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary through prayer