During Lent, we envisioned the suffering Jesus underwent on His way to Golgotha. We knelt at each of the 14 stations as He walked the Via Dolorosa, bleeding, living our pain, falling three times under our weight called sin. At the Cross He embraced, our hearts felt heavy. Each blow of the hammer caused us to shutter as if we were enduring the nails piercing our flesh. Our ears quivered at each word Jesus uttered reminding us of His intense love as He gave up His Spirit.
Good Friday came and went as we awaited the glory of Easter and soon forgot the three hours of ignominy and the loss of the one whom we followed to the tomb.
Our lives went on as everyday became ordinary without much thought of the last three days called the Easter Triduum. He is Risen we heard as the triumph of the Cross, the Resurrection, and eventual Ascension completed the story of the Paschal Mystery. All this was abstract since we spent another year of 40 days praying, fasting, and giving alms, awaiting another year to do it again.
In life, as we know it, each day is a new beginning. Yesterday is in the past and tomorrow promises new and exciting events only imagined. In God’s kingdom yesterday doesn’t exist and there is no future as in time and space. Everything is ever present without a past or time to come.
My article “The Holy Eucharist” refers to the Collapse of Time when Jesus raised the bread saying “This is My Body” and at that moment time collapsed into the future, the moment He died on the Cross. The same thing happens each time the priest raises the patten with the host and says “This is My Body,” time collapses again at the moment Jesus raises the bread. Since time does not exist with God we find ourselves living without a past and all is ever present. No abstraction exists here.
See yourself on the VIA Dolorosa as Jesus passes by and you are actually there in a collapse of time. When Jesus is nailed to the cross the pain you feel is real since you are right there and at that moment there is not an abstract thought and you become one of the bystanders, standing, watching, crying as He takes our place.
We tend to place all events of life in a past-present-future scenario which is normal. But, when we enter into a spiritual existence with God the past/future of human time is put on hold and see everything is in the present. Our past was already our future and our future has already occurred.
It is understandable that this thought may be too deep to live in reality, but it is essential to allow ourselves the opportunity to go beyond our time and space and as if in an out of body experience we live all this in a collapse of time reality.
Most may not consider this thoughtfulness as an absolute necessity, but time stands still when we are in the presence of God and His gentle touch reaches us like a small whisper. No crashing of rocks, no thunder, no forceful winds. Just God; Total and complete!
Ralph B. Hathaway, Lent - Easter 2019