Slaves no longer: Weekly Message for 03-27-2018

Dear Friends in Christ,

In Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ there is a scene where Mary awakens at night, having an intuition that something had happened to Jesus, and speaks the words of the Jewish Passover ritual that the father usually says to the youngest son in the family: “Why is this night not like any other night?” In the movie Mary Magdalene responds, “Because once we were slaves, and we are slaves no longer,” and John bursts in to tell them that Jesus has been taken.

The Passover is a foreshadowing of what will take place in the Holy Week, starting on Holy Thursday. As Holy Week flows into the Sacred Paschal Triduum—Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday—something will happen that will make these words our own. It is something that reached us at Baptism, and it reaches us every time we receive a sacrament, every time we nourish ourselves on the Eucharist or reconcile with God and the Church through Confession.

Once we were slaves, and, thanks to what Christ will undergo during the Triduum, we are slaves no longer. The Paschal Mystery reaches beyond the boundaries of a determined place and moment of history. It reaches us through the sacraments. In these days, in which we commemorate the mystery of our Redemption, we place ourselves in contact with that reality. When the Jews celebrated their Passover, they knew that it was commemorating a past liberation, bringing it to their present moment, and promising a future and definitive liberation from the greatest oppression: sin and death.

During the Triduum, in our hearts and in our spirits, we will accompany Our Lord. We will accompany him on Holy Thursday evening to the cenacle, to the garden of Gethsemane, to the court of the Sanhedrin, and to the place of his imprisonment. On Good Friday we will accompany him to Pilate, to Herod, to the scourging, down the Via Dolorosa, and to Calvary. Finally, at the foot of the cross, we will see him off as he goes where someday we will all go: the realm of death, but he goes there to ensure that we will be slaves no longer.

Even if you cannot participate in every liturgy of the Triduum, you can live these days by accompanying him in your heart. We offer many Retreat Guides to help meditate on Our Lord’s mercy and redemption too:

May Our Lord liberate you from sin in these sacred days.

Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.
author, Finding the Plug

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