We now enter into the holiest time of the Church year. For liturgists it means hours upon hours of preparation so that the Triduum liturgies are celebrated perfectly...well almost perfectly. The good thing is that where I may see slip ups or mistakes, most of the assembly usually doesn't notice, and I don't think God minds all that much. The liturgies of these three days are the most magnificent of the year, and and I really love preparing them. Yet, unlike the rest of the those who participate in these liturgies, I don't get much of a chance to really pray them. For the most part I don't even get a chance to sit as I keep a watch out for anything that needs to get done.
I do however, get a lot out of these three days. I find that praying the Office of Readings for the Triduum from the Liturgy of the Hours gives me that time away, so to speak, to listen to what the Lord is saying. I particulary like the second readings in the Office of Readings for these three days. The first readings are always from Scripture, and during the Triduum they are from the Letter to the Hebrews. The second readings are sermons from the ancient Church. These sermons are beautiful mystogogical reflections on the Paschal Mystery and the events of Christ's life that we celebrate these three days.
This morning's reading was by St. Melito of Sardis, a first century bishop. He relates the Passover to Christ as the sacrifical Lamb and speaks of the suffering of Christ as forshadowed by those who suffered in the Old Testament. So often we, and I do include myself here, like to avoid any kind of suffering or pain. Yet I am learning that suffering is a good thing when we give it all to Christ. Our suffering and pain can be redemptive when put in the proper perspective, and we accept it, not as a curse, but as a way to grow closer to the Lord. All suffering, physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual, does not have to be a reason for dispair or sadness. St. Peter worte, "Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occuring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the suffering of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly."
Have a very blessed Triduum.