By The Reverend Dr. William A. Evertsberg
St. John is the only one of the four Evangelists who tells us that Jesus’ mother was at the cross when he died. Probably for that reason alone, John’s crucifixion narrative has down the ages inspired more Good Friday art than the other three Gospels. Painters, sculptors, composers, and story-tellers have found Mary’s sorrow to be irresistible.
I wonder how many Pietà (“Pity”), Mater Dolorosa (“Mother of Sorrows”), and Stabat Mater (“Here stands the mother”) paintings and sculptures there are in Catholic Churches around the world. And surely every Christian mother on earth has taken a moment every Holy Week to try to live into Mary’s experience at the cross that First Good Friday.
On Monday of Holy Week, Our Lady of Paris joined Our Lady of Nazareth in her sorrow. Following the story from Paris on Monday and Tuesday felt just like experiencing Holy Week, didn’t it? Death and Resurrection. Sorrow and Joy. Or at least Sorrow and Relief.
I’m not one to be on the watch for heavenly signs. In my experience, God normally keeps God’s distance from events that unfold beneath the stars. But once in a while, something speaks to you.
That cross-shaped configuration of I-Beams from the World Trade Center after 9/11, for example, or Nicolas Coustou’s “Descent from the Cross” sculpture from the altar at Notre Dame surviving the fire.
It was my little Easter parable this Holy Week. It was as if Our Lady were saying to me, “I know, I know, it looked like the heart of Paris was going to stop beating. But it didn’t. I’m still here. It might take six years, but you and I—we’ll meet again. Resurrection happens.”
7:30 p.m. April 18 Maundy Thursday, A Service of Tenebrae in the Sanctuary
Easter Sunday, April 21<——Click here for all Easter events
6:30 a.m. Sunrise Worship at Elder Lane Beach
8 a.m. Easter Worship and Communion in the Schmidt Chapel
9 and 10:30 a.m. Easter Worship with the Kenilworth Brass Ensemble in the Sanctuary