St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Parish Blog.

Juxtaposition

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Easter is full of contrast.  The joyful exultation of praise on Palm Sunday next to the shouts of “Crucify Him” from the same mouths.  A kiss as a sign of betrayal.

The warmth and closeness of the last supper shortly before the apostles flee in fear when Jesus is handed over.  Peter's “not only my feet but (wash) my hands and my head as well” just hours before he claims “I do not know the man”.  Jesus' love and service to His friends by washing their feet and giving them the Eucharist, compared to the torture he was about to endure all alone.  The brutal murder of Christ just 3 days before He rises and is glorified again.

Juxtaposition: the placing of or dealing with close together for contrasting effect.  There is no accident in how the contrasts of Easter are laid out.  When we reflect on Easter and all of the events of this week, there is a purpose, though it seems that it involved “senseless” violence.  Our lives are full of such contrast.  We experience joy that goes hand in hand with sorrow.  Pain and suffering next to great love.  Loss and grief can follow after a beautiful life is lived.  Healing can come after great heart break or illness.  Good things can eventually come out of very difficult situations.

We are reminded at Easter that new life can come, despite terrible circumstances.  How can we experience new life, and Easter joy in our daily lives?  I think right now, for me, it is in recognizing the little things- the blessings that I so easily take for granted.  I struggle on a daily basis to pray and need reminders that there can be new life contrasting beside the daily pressures and challenges.  My daughter continues to struggle with learning to eat again, after having to be tube fed following major surgery and chemotherapy last year.  Today, she ate a little bit of roast beef with gravy, and I got tears in my eyes!  I cried over roast beast!  On Monday my 2 year old son told me he wanted to watch “Life a queen”- the kid's movie, Cars where the main character is Lightening McQueen, and I wanted him to say it over and over again so I could hear him trying to pronounce it (okay, that's a little cruel.  It ended when he got mad because he thought I didn't know what he wanted).  So often I'm so busy and caught up in things to really treasure those things.  So often I'm busy wishing for “new life” in my energy level, my work, whatever, and I miss the new life that is all around me.

And then there is the bigger picture, that this life is not all there is, and that there is new life that comes after our lives are over.  That is the biggest juxtaposition of all, and one that our world including myself, has a really hard time understanding.sidewalk_chalk

So, my prayer for today is “Help me Lord to find new life in the sidewalk chalk, the tricycle challenges, the new word attempts, the “I did its”, the new foods tried, the cute brightly colored children's spoons and forks in the dishwasher (and today they were in the clothes dryer), the requests for “Chocowat eggs” and the hugs from my children (even if I have to ask for them).  May we experience your resurrection in our relationships and interactions with people.  May our hearts be filled with Easter joy, beyond our understanding and beyond the contrasts and pain in our lives.”

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Guest July 18, 2019

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