Maundy Thursday Greetings!
A minister friend of mine is an avid hiker and blogger. A few years ago he used his sabbatical to walk the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) in Spain. One of his blog stories tells of a hiker legend about a climb in the Italian Alps that includes the Stations of the Cross along the trail. The stations represent fourteen points along the way of Jesus from Pilate’s condemnation to the tomb.
Annually, thousands take the hike past the stations to stand in reverence at an outdoor crucifix. As the legend has it, one hiker noticed a little trail that led beyond the cross. He fought through the rough thicket and, to his surprise, came upon another shrine. This shrine symbolized the empty tomb. It was neglected. The brush had grown up around it. Almost everyone had gone as far as the cross, but then stopped.
Today we begin the annual commemoration of the Triduum Sacrum, (Sacred Three Days). In these days, we mark not only the cross and the darkness of Friday and Saturday, but also the sunrise glory of Sunday morning, the empty tomb. The legend of the hiker finding the brushcovered shrine reminds us we must not stop with the despair and heartbreak of the cross. The joy of these three days is that God has moved us beyond the darkness to the glory of Easter, the empty tomb.
May Joy, Grace and Peace be yours this Easter.