Saturday, April 07, 2012

Taking A Breather

I was going to be really lazy and just reprint what I wrote last year. I really like the following, even if I do say so myself:
What constitutes the character of this obedience is nothing more or less than taking in to very existence of the inner life of the Triune God that which cannot be, that which was before God created, chaos and lifelessness. Matters of Hell and Gehenna, of Purgatory and Limbo, not only cross a line where speculation rooted in misunderstanding and silence should calm our nervous spirits, but in any event continue to see the Passion as something rooted in human existence, human needs. The being solidary with the dead is part of the Divine desire to be in relationship even there, with the dead in the nothingness, the powerlessness (he quotes the Hewbrew refa'im, those who are powerless, to emphasize the utter passivity of Jesus even in death) which is their lot. Salvation is not only God's act for Creation. Considering the death of Jesus within the context of the Trinitarian life of God leads one to see the fullness of God's desire to take in to that mysterious love of the Three for one another that which cannot be a part of it. The Passion becomes, through the emptiness and silence of Holy Saturday, more clearly understood as a working out of the depth of the Three Persons for One Another in the world God created, even to that which denies creation.
I'm not sure what else to say about this day of vigilance, this Sabbath rest for those of who wait and wonder, knowing what is coming, believing it to be a New Thing.

As a side note, I think one of the existential results of this theological exploration of the death of Jesus within the context of the inner Trinitarian Life of God is to strip from death the hold through fear it has over us. While this is finally accomplished in the resurrection (and any thoughts about this day would be empty, even blasphemous, without the reality of the resurrection as a basis), even here we realize that Death, Hell, abandonment by God are no longer things to be feared. God in the Second Person has taken the full measure of death's dark reign, venturing to the furthest country possible, lying in that most passive state possible - death - experiencing the non-experience, in solidarity with those who are not precisely because, being dead, he, too, is not.

The proclamation of the Psalmist has become real in Jesus, as God in the Second Person makes real the Divine Presence in the Place of the Dead. We no longer need fear death as separation from God. While we shouldn't seek it out, nor strip from unjust or untimely or unnecessary death the condemnation that comes from mourning and rage and sorrow, we should never fear that with this final reality we have come to an end without recourse.

As we wait and watch, not in fear like the first disciples but in faith, anticipating joy as those who live in the light of what is to come, let us remember those who have gone before us. Death, being timeless, knows no boundary; Jesus is with them, even with us in our own deaths, silencing the boasting of the grave through his own silence. Be of good cheer, for those who have gone before us, those who will go long after us, and even we are there in death with Jesus, awaiting the Glory of the New Day whose arrival brings with it the cries of all Creation awaiting its fulfillment.

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