Rants I could provide.
Inspiration – not so much.
But the consideration did clarify some of what I wanted to see during these holy days:
I'm never going to be happy until I see signs of God's supernatural action during the Triduum.
*Homilies that are beyond human wisdom and convict and uplift the heart at the same time.
*Pandemonium because people have come back from Holy Communion and have found themselves healed.
*People sitting in the pews long after the ceremonies are over because they have been caught up in God.
Things like that.
But I haven't seen it yet, so I remain disappointed, because that's how Easter is supposed to be.
The Triduum liturgy has the structure and the capacity to hold and channel Resurrection power.
I don’t know about you, but I believe in an Almighty God who can do far more than give me uplifting emotions, and I want far more than that. Emotions come and go. Action changes the status quo. I want action, not only for me and my loved ones, but for everyone present and their loved ones.
I want the newspapers filled with testimonies about what happened during the Triduum.
But I know we can’t get there if the homilies are lacking the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
“Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved. But they will not ask His help unless they believe in Him, and they will not believe in Him unless they have heard of Him, and they will not hear of Him unless they get a preacher…. Faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the Word of Christ.” Rom 10:13-15a,17
The first homily spoke primarily of the gifts of the eucharist and the priesthood, and didn’t speak much about the Giver, on His night of nights.
The second homily was long, but began to improve mid-way, touching many of the right notes but without any power riding on or through them.
The third homily didn’t mention any of the banquet of scripture readings, and could have been a replay of similar homilies given in different locations; did say all the expected things, but didn’t have Jesus as the primary focus.
When a homily is as it is supposed to be, it makes Jesus present, and enables us to encounter Him.
But that takes not only study, and time, but assiduous prayer and more than ordinary levels of holiness, and it also requires responding to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit (no matter how ‘out there’ they might feel) both in the preparation phase and in the delivery phase.
We also can’t get there without intercessory preparation, i.e. a parish army praying daily all through Lent for those who will attend the Triduum (in whole or in part), that their hearts and souls will be good soil for the Gospel, and further, for the Holy Spirit to act upon them to convict, save, heal, direct and commission those attendees according to His holy will.
Truly inspired parish armies will also pray afterwards that the good seed sown in hearts and souls will come to full harvest under the action of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, God can act sovereignly without these levels of human co-operation, but generally His modus operandi is to work with us rather than without us – as long as we take all our cues from Him.
In all honesty we can’t expect Him to show up and take our plans from good to great without seeking His input in the planning – even though planning without seeking His input (but, perhaps, for a brief 30 second prayer at the beginning of a planning meeting) appears to be our normal modus operandi.
It takes more intentional effort than that!
Please God, may He make us so dissatisfied with our Triduum experiences that we put Him first, front and centre next time, and ever after. Amen.