Holy Week Reflections – from Lent to Easter: An Overview
by Earl Canlas
Part 1 of 3: Patterned in Prayer
The whole series is a prayer beginning with “O, Spirit of God, Give Us Faith….” leading up to “O, Spirit of God, Give Us Life….” The titles of the novena reflections (nine biblical meditations) are each the congregational response in the day’s litany of affirmation. Faith is possible only because God reveals himself and his grace in every human situation. We must recognize how primordial to our faith that God’s design is in all of creation. Without the beginnings of creation in God’s design we would not be born neither be part of a living faith community. God’s breath and the utterance of his own word is a blessing of his Spirit upon all of creation.
There is a tendency to remember being born again in God’s grace and forget that God’s grace came before all of us and before our conscious intentional faith. Some even stress their “own day” of affirming their faith on the occasion of formal profession of that faith before “a church” or to witnesses of “that faith.” No matter how secure we are in communities of our “own faith” or of “individual confidences” in God, let us each be humble to see and say “My faith is not The Faith” and “My church is not The Church.” God’s design comes with a mission “in” the world and “for” the world. In some sense the Bible speaks of the world as obnoxious, yet it points us to live faith in the world and to call it to faith! That is the revelation Jesus has for us to do in the world as he has done.
We are not self-fulfilling by our own faith and in our own church or religion. That is part of the idolatry that enshrines divisiveness, exclusiveness, and sectarianism like righteousness was inherent only on one’s own or on one perfect religion. “Holiness” in its best sense is not standing tall above others, but knowing we are particularly called to call the rest, serving with our best to call others in the world. We spend our breath and our life not for our own salvation but also for others. By that we become a blessing to each other.