Thursday, September 17, 2009

Looking for the Risen Jesus

I was waiting for a friend on the grounds of a local Catholic school and convent. I discovered a walkway with statues along one side. The statues were of Jesus carrying the cross, on his way to be crucified, probably a depiction of the Stations of the Cross. Jesus meets various people as he struggles along the path. The statues were all painted with some sort of sticky, glaringly white sturdy outdoor paint. I could see paint dripping down the concrete pedestals, as if the statues were bleeding white blood.

I walked along the path, following the statues. Though I know the story, it was interesting to see it from this wordless perspective. Further down the path, I saw them nailing Jesus to the cross. The cruelty of the crucifixion was only partially masked by the whiteness of the statues and the calm setting on the wooded path.

I looked for the last statue – the resurrected Jesus. You know the pose: Jesus in a toga with his hands outstretched so that we can see the holes, with a huge halo of light behind his head. I walked to the end of the path, but there was no statue of the Risen Jesus.

I have thought for a number of days about whether there is any lesson to be drawn from this. Why was there no Risen Jesus there? Scripture says, “He is not here; he has risen.” Jesus is in our hearts. Why do you look for the living among the (dead) statues?

Perhaps the message is that Jesus isn’t finished yet. He isn’t ready to be confined to a statuary. Keep looking for him. Out there in the real world.

3 comments:

Angie said...

And never do I see Him more clearly than in the faces of friends.

Mariah Reed said...

Based on my personal experience, I must say that the emphasis placed by Catholics is on the suffering of Jesus Christ. The Stations of the Cross are all about what Jesus did for us to ransom our souls. The fact that He conquered death and still lives is another chapter. The Stations of the Cross are played out most often during Lent, a time of reflection, a time for us to bind our own suffering with that of Jesus Christ so that we can celebrate the anticipated resurrection that arrives on Easter morning. Easter begins the next chapter, which concludes with Pentecost. And likewise, Pentecost begins a new chapter that Luke documented in the Book of Acts.

leafmonster said...

Amen, Angie.

And Amen, Mariah Reed.

Now I remember that at the beginning of the path there was something with the words "In Cruce Salus" on it. It means something like "Salvation comes from the cross." I have to admit that I like contemplating Easter morning much more than contemplating the suffering of Good Friday.