THE THIRD DAY
Every time we profess our faith, we declare that “Jesus suffered, died, and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead.” On Good Friday, we commemorated Jesus’ death and burial. On Holy Saturday, we recalled his descent into hell. And on Easter Sunday, the third day, we joyfully celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.
There is always a “third day”. This is what Easter Sunday reminds us. There is always a resurrection. The story of Jesus did not end on Good Friday when he died on the cross at Calvary. The story of Jesus did not end when he was buried. On the third day, he rose again. There is always a “third day”. There is always a resurrection.
And because Jesus rose again, we have hope that, like him, there will also be a “third day” for us. You may feel like you are just on your first day – the day of betrayal by those you trust, denial by your friends, and abandonment by those you expected to stick out with you until the end. You may feel like you are just on your second day – the day of judgment and being misunderstood, suffering and pain. You may be on your second day of death because you lost many things in life. You lost loved ones. You lost all sense for living. You may be on your second day of burial. You feel buried in a bad habit, in guilt, in your dark past, and in sin. Just wait, for life does not end there. There will always be a “third day”, a day of victory, a day of the resurrection. Even this pandemic will have its “third day.” One day, we will all experience resurrection.
Jesus rose again, not just to vindicate himself. The resurrection is not only for Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus is for us. Jesus rose again to tell you, in ways more powerful than words, “do not despair, continue to trust, continue to hope, your ‘third day’ will also come. There is also a resurrection that awaits you.” And to this, we say, Alleluia!
-Excerpt from "Easter Message 2022", The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila
WEIGHT OF THE CROSS
The crucifix was over 23 feet tall and weighed 4200 pounds, raised high upon the wall of the church. I had never seen anything like it. I lowered myself to kneel under the weight of this cross.
When I stood to pray the Our Father, and gazed on the crucifix, the corpus came alive. My eyes showed me things I hadn't seen before. I felt as though I was truly watching the crucifixion on Calvary.
With my eyes fixed on His chest, I could see it pulsing and throbbing. He was gasping for air. His chest was pounding, in and out, in and out, but laboriously. There were short inhales and hurried exhales as He struggled to breathe.
What to make of this? An inanimate object was becoming animate to me. Yet I couldn't take my eyes off of it. How could I help Him? How could I ease His suffering? His chest continued to writhe in agony.
"My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me." - Reproaches from the ancient liturgy of Good Friday
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."