In you, O Lord, I seek refuge, do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me. (Psalm 31:1)
A couple of years ago, my wife and I took a trip to Paris. We spent most of our time visiting all of the famous sites that draw so many from around the world: Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, the Musee Rodin, Sacre Coeur, and on and on, all the while sipping wine and eating croissants. We decided to venture outside of Paris only one day and we went to the Palace of Versailles, the opulent royal residence of King Louis XIV. As we walked around the magnificent estate and toured the gardens, I was struck by the beauty of la galerie des Glaces—the gilded room with 357 mirrors. When walking in this grand hall, one literally cannot escape catching a glimpse of one’s self at every turn. It might seem strange to write about the Hall of Mirrors today. I am remembering that trip in a special way because of the terrible fire at Notre Dame this week. I sit and think about this most holy week and my mind wanders back to that room at Versailles.
Yesterday we heard again the Passion Narrative from John’s Gospel. This text can, I think, be a mirror for us. Here is what I mean: As you reflect on the story of Jesus’ death, can you see yourself in it? An important part of Holy Week is to see ourselves in the story and, as one of our collects says, to “walk the way of the cross” with Jesus.
Anamnesis is the Greek word used to describe this act of remembering, and theologians describe this act not simply as a passive process by which we recall past events but an active process in which we enter these sacred stories.
As we sit with this heavy text on this somber day of reflection, let us use it as a mirror. See yourself at Golgotha. Picture yourself at the tomb where they placed our Lord. As we await the great proclamation made by the Angels—“He is not here; he is risen”—truly experience the joy of Easter.
The Reverend D. Andrew Olivo
Appointed readings for today: Job 14:1-14, Psalm 31:1-4, Matthew 27:57-66