Yesterday we all watched the fire at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, grieving the destruction of this icon of faith and beauty.
George Weigel, a distinguished Catholic thinker, speaking on MSNBC, remarked that, as Parisians mourn all the cathedral means to them, perhaps they would recommit themselves to those values and renew their faith. He said the burning of an outside shell of faith might reveal the inner core of faith.
Holy Week is exactly that. From Palm Sunday to Easter Morning, the outside shell of faith is burned away: the untested enthusiasts of Palm Sunday, the deserting disciples of Maundy Thursday, the corrupted justice of Good Friday, the entombed body of Holy Saturday, and even hard evidence on Easter Sunday. What is left is the inner core of Easter faith.
Each of us must endure similar burnings of our outer shell – suffering, losses, injustice, evil, facing death. What is left can be the inner core of Easter faith. Now you understand the Resurrection!
This Sunday we’ll welcome to our chapel many who do not understand the Resurrection. But, as fellow humans, they’ve had their own outer shell burned. May our music, words and love convey to them the good news of Easter – God’s inner core of love and life can never be destroyed.