We are now entering the home stretch of Lent.
For those of you in the Roman rite, you may have noticed statues covered in churches.
Without an understanding of their meaning these covered statues may initially look weird, but the veiled statues alert us of the special time that we are in.
They tell us that something is different.
These last two weeks of Lent are meant to be a time of preparation for the Easter Triduum, and the veils are a strong reminder to get ready.
There is an unsettling feeling about veiled images. They exist to be uncovered; it is unnatural for them to be covered.
The statues will not be unveiled till right before the Easter Vigil. It’s a good reminder of our own life on earth: the world we live in is “veiled” in a sense.
We can’t see God or Heaven yet and we feel that we are in exile from our true home.
Covered Statues and Exodus 90: A Suprising Connection
I also am coming to the close of the Exodus 90 challenge. In this challenge, our goal is to conquer our own weaknesses and the addictions that enslave us.
The challenge is supposed to free us from these addictions so we are not enslaved by them. We die to ourselves from the common daily pleasures, to show we are in control.
I have enjoyed reading the book of Exodus during this time. To read this book is to journey with the Israelites from the slavery they experienced in Egypt to the promised land.
Exodus 90 is a painful challenge, but the covered statues in the churches put the suffering into perspective. The veiled statues remind us of the pain and suffering Jesus is about to go through.
Through penitential practices such as Exodus 90, we can join in and journey with Him. It’s only through our own death that the veil will be lifted from the statues.
We will finally able to see the beauty of the eternal Easter in Heaven!
Entering Into the Passion
Also approaching us is Palm Sunday. The Passion narrative will be read, the longest Sunday Gospel reading of the year.
We are very close now to the cross, and we should appreciate Christ’s love for us who sacrificed Himself for us. It is a small snapshot of what is to come on Good Friday.
Passion Week will transition into Holy Week and the Church will follow Jesus during his final days in Jerusalem.
I highly recommend adding the practice of meditation on the Stations of the Cross more frequently during this time and this is why we have chosen for the CD of the month a talk on the Stations of the Cross by Steve Ray. For children, I recommend the DVD by brother Francis on the Stations of the cross.
Experiencing Our Salvation History in the Easter Vigil
Passiontide is meant to be a special time, in which we focus on Jesus’ passion, and have true sorrow for our sins.
My favourite Mass of the year is the Easter vigil, since it has so much symbolism: starting with the fire that will light the candles, and then the readings of the Old Testament.
Thanks to reading the book Walking with God by Jeff Cavins and Dr Tim Gray I have a real appreciation for the story of our salvation history.
Since Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, we had a need of a saviour who could pay the debt we could not pay. Since the ‘protoevangelion‘, or ‘first gospel’ in Genesis 3:15 we have been looking for a messiah to save us.
From Adam to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David and finally to the King of Kings, Jesus.
Jesus suffered so much for us and gave up his life so that we may live. There would be no more animal sacrifices as He was the ultimate sacrifice.
I encourage you to relive the passion with Jesus and take in all of the Old Testament as it leads up to this event. It will be uncomfortable, tough, sad, painful and overwhelming.
The good news is that Passiontide is not the end. This sad period of preparation will soon close, so that we are ready to celebrate and rejoice in Christ’s resurrection.