Sunday, March 25, 2012

Out of Darkness

I'm out of town this weekend & attended Mass at a local parish. I was able to follow along just fine til they broke out in Latin. I knew the gist of what they were saying, but I haven't learned the Latin responses as we don't use them in my parish. For music, there was an organ, a piano & a 20 head choir. Very simple. Very profound. The deacon read the gospel, which had to do with the resurrection of Lazarus.

It's no secret that I've been struggling with my decision to pursue Catholicism for reasons I've visited in other posts. But struggle does not mean surrender. As I listened to the gospel today, my own tomb was opened. My own stone was rolled away & light flooded my darkness. I heard the voice of Jesus speaking to my own heart. He was not calling Lazarus this morning, but me. I've long feared exposure- not necessarily of who I am, but of who I'm not. I am bound in the darkness, stewing alone in my own putrid juices. I am disintegrating from without & within. I am not alive, but dead.

One of Lazarus' sisters objected to the opening of the tomb. He'd been in there for 4 days already & the stench would be horrible. But this didn't deter Jesus. Scripture says He was perturbed & wept when He got there. But He didn't walk away. He had the tomb opened & called out to Lazarus. Imagine the mixture of joy & terror at the rustling that began to emerge from the darkness. And then suddenly, there he was. I bet jaws were on the ground. Those nearby attended to Lazarus, helping him take off his grave clothes. He was received into the community as one of the living.

Now I didn't say I came out of my tomb- only that the stone was rolled away & I heard the voice of Jesus calling. You'll find me lingering in the shadows of the archway, looking out at the people gathered 'round. My grave clothes still cling, hardened with the stench of death... but beneath them, there is a transformation taking place. I am undergoing conversion- from death to life. I am called outside this tomb... to join the community of faith as one of the living. What will they find when they peel off my grave clothes? They found Lazarus whole. So may I also be as I respond to the voice of Jesus...

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