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Holy Week, Death, Christ and Us

  
So it is that this Holy Week, like the first, is marked by terror and death.
I feel my prayer tending in a challenging direction. The One whom we acclaim this week, and claim as Lord, faced terror and death (and conquered them), not by harsh words, bravado, threats, or weapons. He conquered by entering directly into the terror, into death, and taking their worst into himself, into his own body.
He swallowed the hatred and it killed him. As it did, he responded with the undying gifts of love and forgiveness. 
If Jesus is not to be reduced this week to a pious legend, I must reckon with the possibility that I am called to respond and live and die as he did. In his passion, is God’s definitive response to hatred and violence revealed once and for all? If so, what does that mean for us who call ourselves Christians?
I, for one, am not willing to allow Christ to be reduced to no more than legend. Especially during this week, above all others. 
His story is written again in my life and yours, if we allow it to be so.

(Image: 15th century Spanish crucifix)

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Author:

A native of the North Shore of Boston, I currently live on Long Island, New York. I worked at Boston College as the Acting Director of The Church in the 21st Century Center until August, 2010 and served until November 2016 as Canon for Formation, and Dean of the George Mercer Jr. School of Theology of the Diocese of Long Island. I am now Rector at the Church of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in Shoreham, New York.

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