Between now and next Sunday Christians will ponder the mystery of Holy Week. The beginnings of the Eucharist in Holy Thursday's Last Supper, the Way of the Cross on Good Friday, the day of silence on the Great Sabbath and finally there will again, as always, be the empty tomb.
A few weeks ago a line from a hymn caught my attention and it seems right to start this Holy Week with the idea I found in it. The hymn spoke of the fact that
Grace chases evil away.I was struck by the seeming incongruity of that statement. Not because I don't believe in grace- I depend on it day in and day out. But we don't think of what happens this week as "grace." Not in the sense that grace itself is the action that defeats evil- and will continue to defeat evil in our own lives and world.
Grace- the free, unencumbered gift from God.
If we have to earn it,
it isn't grace.If we have to pay for it,
it isn't grace.If we have to be good enough to deserve it,
it isn't grace.How does that chase evil away? How does that defeat evil?
Then it came to me, evil wants us to think we are powerful
or have to be good
or earn the love of God.
Evil wants to undermine the idea that God loves us
just as we are.
In the depth of our soul we know that we can never be good enough, or strong enough, or wise enough to get the love of God
by our own actions.As a result we end up pursuing control, looking for power.
The Evil One tells us that God will destroy us
or turn us out of paradise.
Grace calls BS on the words and works of evil.
Grace simply says
Come on in. I'm right here.Let THAT sink in as you go through this Holy Week.