Good Friday ... Holy Saturday
I realize that my reflections now may be too late. After all, Christians throughout the world are already saying, "Alleluia, He is Risen!" Easter Joy is unleashed, and I am glad it is.
But I want to back up a couple of days. Since coming home after the Maundy Thursday service, I have been tongue-tied here. The Good Friday liturgy left me still more silent.
This has been one of those years when I have been able to immerse myself in the Gospel story.
I went to my parish's celebrations of Maundy Thursday and (as my priest said) the day that our Church persists in calling "Good" Friday.
Walking through the death of Jesus, I was reminded of another death. The death of my friend, Jane Pairo.
I enlisted Jane to her job. Weary of my job, I persuaded her to come to my organization and be my boss.
A dear friend and colleague, Jane went with me to a national conference in Philadelphia. While there, she had an attack of diverticulitis. She was taken to the hospital. She had surgery. She should have been all right. I visited her in the hospital, expecting her to recover.
I came home from the conference, expecting her to come home shortly after. Instead, I got a call that she was dead. A blood-clot broke loose and killed her. She was never coming home to me, this woman I had loved and respected.
I came home this week from the Liturgy of Good Friday, expecting to think holy thoughts and do holy deeds.
Instead, I started washing dishes and house-cleaning. It was a few hours later that I realized: that's exactly what I did after I heard that Jane had died: I launched into a frenzy of housecleaning.
I wonder what Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany and Mary Virgin did after they saw Jesus die upon the cross. They had had a long day. They had seen Jesus ride into town. They had participated in the feast. Then they had had seen him be arrested, tried, and crucified. Oh, crucified.
What did they do when they returned to that upper room? Did they do as I did? Did they busy themselves with cleaning up after the meal? ... And did they weep, as they cleaned?
What is it about us women that -- after we grieve deeply -- we return home and clean up the remnants?