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In Arabic we call it the week of pain, that is the Holy Week. Throughout that week we re-live all the anguish Jesus Christ went through, spiritual and physical anguish, into death and finally, the crux of the whole faith, the resurrection.
The spiritual anguish Jesus went through was that of betrayal of one of his disciples, and denial of acknowledgement by another, and the feeling of abandonment. All the most painful feelings human beings can inflict on one another. The physical pain he went through needs no explanation.
Why all that? What does it mean? Why is it supposed to be something good? As per Christian teachings, by His suffering, Jesus Christ was atoning for our sins. Through his death, he has granted us our ever after.
The spirituality of the act and it’s symbolism is rich indeed. Human nature is frail and we sin both by omission and commission, but God is Love, is Forgiveness, is Understanding of all our frailties. Even though we might sin, again and again, yet His love is so encompassing, we are forgiven, again and again. All we have to do is acknowledge, if even just to ourselves, that we have gone wrong, and acknowledge, even just to ourselves, that we regret the wrong we have done. Just that and God forgives all.
The concept of a Loving, all Forgiving God is one that has taken a long time to take hold, as, in their limited understanding, humans thought that the best way to ensure the following of the morality of the message is to threaten with hellfire and eternal damnation, thus turning God into a fear inspiring figure, instead of the all loving, all forgiving God that we know now.
Personally, Easter is a very moving time of the year, full of pain, mixed with love and joy. This particular year is very difficult. With the recent loss of my Mom, Easter has taken a deeper meaning. I think more of the afterlife, of the meaning of the resurrection and the meaning of eternal salvation. One very great solace to me is the fact that minutes before my Mom had cardiac arrest, four days before she passed away, she had a priest right there praying WITH her. They both prayed, he blessed her,then she went into cardiac arrest. After that she never really came back. So I am glad that she had that solace before she finally went into eternal peace. She was always a very religious person, not in the superficial aspects of religion, but in the true sense of goodness. She was the model of kindness, in act and in thought, she loved deeply, all things in life, human, animal, beauty, music, joy. Although she had a temper and a wicked sense of humor, she never lost sight of the ultimate goal: kindness to all, and an encompassing love.
So this Easter I am beginning to calm down a bit about loosing her, for now she is being rewarded for a very long, and quite often, very painful life. She is back with her Maker, basking in the warmth of His love, surrounded by all her loved ones who preceded her. I am convinced that she is now happy. And this gives me solace. It does not make me miss her any the less, but I am no longer just thinking of MYself, MY loss, MY pain, I am now starting to understand the phrase she often used towards the end, quoting Jesus in asking why the Father had forgotten her, or abandoned her. She felt that she had stayed too long and was eager to join her Maker in eternal peace. She had far more transparency than ever I could conceive of, she KNEW and was impatient to go to a better place, where she would become one with the eternal light and love that is God, where she is again part of the whole with all her loved ones. Rest in ever loving peace my dear Mom, until we are all once again united forever.
Easter is a difficult time, very moving, full of pain, but also full of love, hope and joy.
20 April 2014