Today we begin the Triduum, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil, one of the oldest recorded traditions of our faith. This series of gatherings that comprise a single prolonged worship service carries us with dramatic ritual from the Last Supper, through the betrayal at Gethsemane, to the Cross and tomb, and finally the Resurrection.
Not all that we will experience in these days will be pleasant. There is always a deep temptation to avoid the suffering and go directly to the joy of Easter. It is important, though, to take the time to acknowledge the price that was paid. The grace of eternal life was not cheap, we were bought at a price. I encourage you to share the full experience of walking with Christ and his disciples as they experience suffering, death, and grief. Remember too that even as we go into the darkness, we hold in our hearts the faith that on the third day, light will dawn. Going into the darkness with hope is a radically different from hopeless nihilistic despair.
The same is true in our own lives and in the world as a whole. There are always times when, as individuals or as a people, we journey through grief or pain, but because of the life, death and resurrection of Christ, we never go through those times alone and we know that our third day will come. The light will dawn, and the whole world will see and know that Christ is risen and the light will never end. Life with hope is radically different from despair. Alleluia!