Saturday, April 4, 2015

April 4, 2015


Hit, hurt, by rocks,
by saliva spit words,
thrown at me,
by those who don’t know  -
they too are hurting.

Do I forgive them?
Can I forgive them?
Do I reach out
with open arms
and nailed down hands?
Do I turn the other cheek?
Do I take another chance
on forgiving this person?
Do I give a sign of peace,
knowing they can hurt me again?

This is my confession….
This is my putting the hurt into words….
This is being Christ
on the cross … in pain …
saying, “Father forgive them
because they don’t know
what they are doing.
But I know or do I?

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015



The title of my homily for this Good Friday is, “Personal Stations of the Cross.”

I wonder how many people noticed on page 118 in the missalette the following comment: “After the reading of the Passion, there may be a brief homily. Following the homily, the faithful may be invited to spend a brief period in prayer.”

A similar message in the Missalette about being brief appeared last Sunday – Palm Sunday – and I think my homily was 8 minutes.

I assume the key word is “brief”. I assume there is so much to meditate and reflect upon this Holy Week – and we need space and time – to deeply reflect upon the key ingredients and themes of Holy Week.

I have often asked people: “What are your key moments of Holy Week?”

[PAUSE] What are yours? 

On Holy Thursday, in a brief morning homily, I mentioned that a lady told me her key moment is Holy Thursday night’s washing of the feet.

Another person told me that Holy Saturday night’s liturgy is long, at least 2 hours long, but he loves the moment when people come into the Catholic Church after making the long R.C.I.A. program.

So what is your favorite – or most moving moment - of Holy Week?


Last Sunday after Mass, a young  couple I had married at St. Mary’s a few years ago, told me they were going to be in Rome to celebrate Holy Week. The guy told me that his favorite moment will be praying the Stations of the Cross with Pope Francis in the Coliseum. He said he lived in Italy for a while and  he went to that ceremony in Rome every Good Friday.

That triggered this homily and these thoughts.


Some people when they travel, like to stop into Catholic Churches and check them out.  I see lots of folks visiting St. Mary’s in downtown Annapolis.

Suggestion: check out the stations of the cross in every Catholic church you visit. Check out the variety and the art. Make them – slowly or quickly – a moment of prayer. Let your kids see you do that on vacation or here in St. Mary’s Parish.  What are your falls? What are your crosses – or your main cross?  Where do you feel nailed down? What are your deaths? When have you been falsely accused of something? Who’s there to help you?

Or as someone – somewhere along line -  once told me: discover  your key station of the cross – the one that says the most to you. Then in every church you visit  - go to just that station.  The lady who told me this said she sits there at the 4th station only: Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother.

I’ve noticed in various churches a set of stations that have a hidden face in every one of the 14 stations. Check out the ones here in St. John Neumann Church.


If you check out  Stations of the Cross on Google, you'll find out that they have a long history. The comment you’ll notice the most is this: it’s a substitute for going to the Holy Land to visit the places on the  way to the cross. The Stations go from where Jesus is condemned by Pontius Pilate till he dies on the cross and is buried.

You’ll also find out from Google that St. Francis of Assisi and then the Franciscans get a lot of credit from medieval times and onwards for promoting this spiritual practice.

You’ll also find out,  that there were various methods and numbers of Stations before that time – as well as in modern times. You’ll find out some stations are biblical and some aren’t. How many times Jesus fell, we don’t know.  That he fell probably – but we don’t know for sure.  It’s not in the Bible. That Simon of Cyrene was forced into helping Jesus. That’s in the Bible. That a woman named Veronica wiped the face of Jesus “No.”  That there were women along the way to Calvary weeping and crying, yes – that’s in the Bible.

Just as there are many different types of art work - for  the Stations of the Cross - hanging in our churches, so too there are many different booklets written by all kinds of people – giving prayers and reflections – for the Stations of the Cross. Pope John Paul 2 has one. I’m sure Pope Francis will have one.

We Redemptorists are very aware that the most popular booklet for the stations of the cross was done by our founder St. Alphonsus de Liguori.

A priest who left the priesthood – Richard Furey - who was stationed here at St. Mary’s Parish wrote a popular stations of the cross back in 1984. It still sells. It’s entitled, “Mary’s Way of the Cross”. I noticed on line that it’s listed for $1.95. I also noticed in small print, “Used .69 cents. New .36 cents.” Interesting…. Why I know about that Stations of the Cross is that when Rick wrote it, he sent it to me for suggestions. I thought it needed an Introduction so I wrote a  brief first draft introduction  in about a  half hour or so and suggested he write an introduction like this himself.  Years later someone said they saw my name on a stations of the cross. I said I had written one, but it never got  published – like a lot of my stuff. So I wondered how it had gotten out. Surprise it wasn’t mine – but  Rick Furey's – with my name as doing the Introduction


Third and last suggestion: jot down or come up with your own stations of the cross.

Down through the centuries various folks made the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ personal to their town or their lives. Every 10 years they do the Passion Play in that place in Germany that nobody knows how to pronounce. At least I don’t.

I noticed on Google working on this homily today that in Jersey City, New Jersey, a half dozen or so Christian Churches are marching through their streets and are making the stations of the cross at 14 different places. They are places where there was violence, a shooting, or what have you. In each place the cross the crowd is moving along with a big wooden cross.  At each spot mention is made what happened here. Then a big nail is banged into the wood. Hopefully Annapolis would not have that many violent crimes to merit such a procession. However, watch the evening news from Baltimore and many a big city and you’ll notice that the first 5 stories every night are about a shooting or a fire or what have you.

So my 3rd point is - besides visiting churches and checking out the stations of the cross on the walls – or your key station -  besides checking out the history of the stations of the cross, come up with your own 14 spots or situations where you have experienced your Way of the Cross.

There’s a spot on 6th avenue and 59th Street in Brooklyn that generates all kinds of sad sorrowful energy for me. When I ride over  that  black macadam spot, the memory that hits me is this: this was where my mom was killed by a hit and run driver while walking to church. Another place I feel a similar sad energy is when I go by the hospital where my dad died. Then there is spot on the Gowanas Parkway. It’s below another hospital where my nephew Michael died of cancer – very suddenly – at the age of 15.

I mention these spots – these stations – these places -  not to get self-attention but to call attention to the reality we all have our 14 moments – memories – or what have you – that are our stations of the cross.

You know yours. Deaths …. Cancer …. Marriage disasters – or kids dropping out of the faith – or drifting into drugs – or what have you.


The title of my homily is, “Personal Stations of the Cross.”  The missalette says we can make a brief homily and then spend a brief period in prayer.  I suggest that you take the time to make the Stations of the Cross. Make many brief periods of quiet prayer. If married,  share with your spouse what you come up – making your personal stations of the cross together.
April 3, 2015


I’ve often heard the cynical comment
that if all the relics of the true cross
around the world were glued together,
we would have a forest. Not true.
I say that because I also heard that
someone measured how many tiny
splinters of wood we could get
from a wooden cross – and we could
get enough splinters for all the churches
around the world. Interesting comment.

Now for the interesting numbers.
Could we measure how many people
have relics of the true cross in their
mind and heart, soul and spirit?
There’s that crushing comment a
parent or priest or school principal
made at us 26 years ago – or that
that time we were nailed to a cross
of a family problem – taking care
of a parent when all our brothers
and sisters disappeared – or a family
situation when nobody would talk to us.
Talk about relics of the true cross!

© Andy Costello, Reflections, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015


I’ve seen his face in ten thousand faces - in malls
and in tenement halls – in art museums – in paintings
on walls – and outside art museums - in the hungry
and those without -  especially in those without –
without food or clothing or a place to stay. I’ve see
his face in ten thousand face to face sightings of
each other as everyone walks their way of the cross.

I’ve seen his face on ten thousand crosses – ten
thousands pieces of bread – ten thousand sips of wine -
in his body and in his blood, in Eucharist and in detests
of one another – as we walk the way of the cross with
or without each other. I’ve seen his face in ten thousand
mirrors – in ten thousand sightings of you in me and me
in you, here, there and everywhere around the world.

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2015


His wife, Janice, finally asked him, “Every night – well almost every night - after supper you soak your dad’s feet in that tan plastic bucket – during the evening news. Then you dry them with a towel. Nice. A question that hit me is this:  Is there a story behind all this?”

This triggered in Jack a memory. It was the night he asked Janice, “What would it be like if we invited my dad to move in with us?”

His mom had died. His dad was all alone. Jack and Janice’s kids had moved out. One was still in college. The other 4 kids had finished college – were working – and two were married.

So to the question about asking dad if he wanted to move in with them – Janice said, “Great! It will give you and our 3 grandkids a wonderful experience to be with each other even more.” 

Janice loved her grandkids – day caring for them 4 days a week – and dad was still rather healthy – and he could help take the kids to the park or the zoo or what have you.

Jack, her husband, was still working. He was a mechanic  - at the local school bus garage.

After asking that first question, Janice said, “I know all that, but why do you have that great smile on your face as you put your dad’s feet into the tan plastic bucket and pour just the right temperature hot water on his feet?”

“Janice,” Jack said, “sometimes when I was a kid, my dad would take me over at least two nights a week to see grandpa and grandma – and grandpa would always be soaking his feet when we were there. Grandpa’s feet had gone bad early. So I would see my dad getting hot water for his father’s feet – and pouring in Epsom Salts. My dad’s dad had been a cop and was on his feet all day – walking his beat.  Nowadays, most cops are in patrol cars. Well,  his feet hurt – often hurt.”

“Oh,” said Janice. “Nice.”

“So,” Jack continued…. “I guess with dad living with us and getting him hot water and Epsom Salts,  I’m just keeping up an old family tradition.”

Then he said, “I always liked the silky feel of Epsom Salts in hot water. I love to see my dad’s face when I dry off his feet and rub his toes dry.”

Janice and Jack were quiet for a while.

Then Jack continued. “As I looked back on my dad – I realized all he did for the 5 of us when we were growing up. So the least I could do for him was to help him soak his feet.”

“And ooops,” Jack said, “I better tell you the best reason. My dad once told me that he was doing his father’s feet one evening. It was Good Friday. We were all at Mass for Holy Thursday the day before. My dad said,  ‘This is just what Jesus did at the Last Supper to his disciples. He talked a lot about love at the Last Supper – but washing feet was love without words.’”

Janice was glad she asked Jack – because he was a man of few words. He was mostly about doing.

Then Jack continued. “My dad had said that it was Mary Magdalen and then at another time some other lady who washed and dried, and then anointed Jesus’ feet." 

Jack paused and then said, "My dad added, 'So I guess at the last supper Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and then dried them, because he had seen it done. That’s love. That’s service and I found out it does work.' So Janice that’s basically the story why doing my father's feet puts a smile on my face.


“And Janice, do you want me to wash your feet?”

“Nope, but I’d love you to wash the dishes. They're in the sink and I’m dead tired right now and I need resurrection.”

“Gladly,” said Jim. “Gladly. And by the way, I saw some nice bread in the bread box – and there’s some great wine in the cabinet over there. How about two pieces of bread – some cheese – or some peanut butter - and some wine.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015


God, I'm no fool.
I know there’s a me.
I know that when I’m talking to another
and they ask me a question about what
I just said – and I give them an answer.
I know there's a me when I’m hurting from something as small as a canker sore 
on my lower lip – or when I have an itch.

So God, I know there’s a me.

God, I’m no fool.
I know there’s a You
because I'm know we're all too small 
to touch a star, but there they are. 
I know there's a Creator because none of us
came up with the idea of creating and making a hippo or a mosquito but there they are. They exist.
So when I come up with questions like:
Who made that? Who dreamed up moths?
Who made you and you and you?
And what in world am I doing being here?

So God, it's then I know there’s a You.

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015



The title of my homily for this Tuesday in Holy Week  is, “It Was Night.”

Until recently the Greek, “En de nux” – was translated in the New American Bible, “It was night.”

Then someone or the team that made changes in the latest New American Bible translation added the word “and.” So we heard this morning, “And it was night.” [John 13:30]

This might sound picky, picky, but I wished they didn’t put that “and” in there.

I say that because our best English teacher in the seminary told us about the gift Ernest Hemingway gave to American writing.  Give short  - exclamation point like sentences. So, “It was night” is perfect. I consider  whoever changed this was not into good dramatic English or how this would sound in church. I assume they were into trying to come up with a good translation of the Greek.

It was also pointed out to us when studying New Testament Greek and the Gospels, that the Gospels in Greek had many, many, many  long sentences with the Greek word “kai” – “and” in them. Surprise! John 13:30 does bit have a “kai” in it.

So I don’t know the mind or methods of the translators of this text.

That’s life. Be prepared not to get one’s way.


John presents a powerful message in this part of the Gospel of John.

Jesus is at supper for his last supper. Judas has already planned on having Jesus arrested and killed for money.

Jesus, at supper, that night, is about to enter into the dark – into evil – into night. He’ll be arrested – kissed with a betrayers lips – beaten – whipped – mortified – made fun of – crowned with thorns.

Night means – people have left the light. Night means darkness and sin.

We’ll find this all through Paul’s thoughts. People do the sneaky things in the dark – in the night. [Cf. Romans 1;21; 11: 8-10; 13:12.]

Dante in his Inferno – Hell  - considers hell as darkness – in the dark… Hell is going “Into the eternal darkness, into fire and into ice.”

Luke calls this period near the end of Jesus’ life: ‘This is the hour of darkness.”  [Luke 22:53]

We hear on every Good Friday – that it got very dark that afternoon – when Jesus died on the cross.

The metaphor of hell is not just fire. The metaphor of hell is very much darkness.

The sinner is often pictured as being sneaky – slipping around in the dark - stealing – sinning – not wanting to be seen.

How many men – who are addicted to porn – are sneaking and surfing around in the Internet – in the night – not wanting to be caught – and sometimes the light goes on and they are caught.

Break-ins, happen in the night.

People who steal – try to keep others in the dark.

Robert Frost’s poems can often get into dark stuff.  He uses this metaphor a lot. He writes, “And fire and ice within me fight / Beneath the suffocating night.”  In his 1928  poem, “Acquainted with the Night,” he writes, “I have been acquainted with the night.”


These are a few words to reflect upon. We are all acquainted with hiding our sins and sinning in the hide – in the night.

Christianity is all about coming out of the dark, Jesus coming out of the cave and the shadows, and experiencing the dawn.

As John says in his prologue to Jesus: “The light shines in the darkness , for the darkness does not overcome it.”

This week, this coming Thursday and Friday and Saturday are all about darkness – as we wait for the arrival of Easter – and Jesus rising from the dark of sin and death. Amen.
March 31, 2015

                 HEAVEN AND HELL

From time to time people call our church
and ask to talk to a priest.

An appointment is made to meet with them
in one of three small meeting rooms
in the corridor just outside our parish church.

Well, this guy came in and after a few comments,
some chit chat – and all that – he uncovered – 
he showed me – he told me - the question 
he had in his fist – in his craw – on a piece of paper – on a piece of his mind:“Father I don’t believe in hell”   - and then he added, “And actually, I don’t believe in heaven as well.”

I paused.

I wondered.

Well that was short and sad – 
and short and bleak.

I said, “I’ve heard of the non-belief in hell – 
a lot – especially – on high school retreats – 
but the non-belief in heaven – well, that’s rare.”

“Well,” he added, “Is that all right to think this way?”

“Well, hell, what do you think?” I questioned back
to his question.


I knew, hey, I’m old, that one of the best tricks
of the trade in listening is questions is to
answer questions with questions. That’s 
an old time rabbi and Buddhist master’s trick.


Then – so as not to be funny or cute or a SA
or use my degrees, I said,  “I don’t know!”

“You don’t know?”

“Right,” I repeated myself, “I don’t know.”

He said, “That’s all you’re going to say –
that you don’t know?”

“Correct and I’m not dying to find out.”

He said, “Is there any other priest I could talk to.”

I said, “Okay, but I’ll have to ask around and get back to you.”

He backtracked a bit, “You’re a priest”  and then he added,
“You have to believe in heaven and hell?”

I said, “Look the Bible quote I keep in mind is this one: ‘Eye has not seen; ear has not heard;
nor has it entered the human heart,  
what God has prepared for those 
who that love Him.”


Then I continued, “I love God, so I’ll let him 
surprise me – what’s after all this.”


Then I said, “Let me ask you a question,
‘Do you believe there is a heaven 
and  a hell here on earth?”


Then he pulled the back to back question 
trick on me. “Do you?”

I said, “I do!”

“Ooooh,” he said.

Then I told him “That’s my answer 
to your question in the first place.”

He said, “It is?”

“Yep,” I said, “Once you start to figure out 
the existence of heaven and hell in the here 
and now – you might start believing 
in the reality of presence of hell in the hereafter.”

Then he said, “I guess I have to make an offer

to myself to think about all this.”

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015



Extravagance! The title of my homily is, “Extravagance!”

Sometimes extravagance is nice. Sometimes it’s too much. Sometimes simplicity seems better. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s best.



In today’s gospel Mary took some very expensive perfumed oil – 300 days wages expensive and anointed Jesus’ feet and  dried them with her hair. Now that’s extravagance – and the scent was sent all through the house.

And Judas – the Iscariot – got riot feelings over this gesture of love.

And Judas – who was about to betray Jesus – said, “Why wasn’t this oil sold and the money given to the poor.”

And Jesus – said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You’ll always have the poor with you – but you won’t always have me.”


The title and thought of my homily is, “Extravagance.”

It’s good to take some time sometimes – and think about when others were extravagant to us and we were extravagant to others.

Extravagance – those special gifts we poured on kids at Christmas – and the joy filled the house.

Extravagance – those money tips the father of the bride or bridegroom handed out to everyone who served at a wedding for their kid.

Extravagance – the expensive card with extravagant words a husband gave to his wife – and it said, “Happy Anniversary – July 31st.” and then the words, “See inside for the explanation.” And she opened it up – and her husband wrote, “I know you thought, ‘July 31st isn’t our anniversary. But it was July 31st – a week before I actually talked to you the first time – that I spotted you sitting there a few tables away and I said, “Woo! Look at her! Woo. Woo. Woo. Woof, woof, woof.”

Extravagance – bringing the family to Disneyworld – even though it would mean taking a second job for the Christmas season

Extravagance – it was raining – but her hair was just done – and her husband hailed a cab – even though they couldn’t afford it. It was during their public transportation days.

Extravagance – putting a 20 in the poor box – so the poor could have more.

Extravagance – holding in a story we’re dying to tell – but we’re all ears – allowing the others to tell their stories.

Extravagance – feeding the 5000 – feeding the 500 billion ever since with the Bread of Life – Holy Communion.

Extravagance – the kid next door shovels our snow and cuts our grass – knowing we’re getting older. Extravagance.

Extravagance – letting the other get in the elevator ahead of us – and saying to the wrinkled old lady we let in – “Wow that’s a great perfume – it’s gotta be super expensive.


Thank you God for being so extravagant - giving me all these extra days of life – these extra breaths of fresh air – and a chance to see Spring spring into life with all kinds of flowers and resurrection – and new life. Amen. Come Lord Jesus. Amen.

March 30, 2015


In any given lifetime, everyone needs to face
a mountain - grey solid state granite - standing
there blocking one's way to other side - or to
climb it - just because it's there - and realize
I can do it. I can make it to the top and back.

Mountains - they are metaphors - of the struggles, the challenges, we all more or less have  to face. 
Here are 10: breaking off a dumb relationship;
the death of a parent; rejection; the breaking
of trust in a marriage because of an affair; 
being fired to make room for a family member;
abuse; being used; alcoholism or addiction; 
loss of God or loss of a reason for living.

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2015 

Sunday, March 29, 2015



The title of my homily for this Palm Sunday  is, “It’s a Mystery.”

How many times in our life have we said – while scratching our head and squeezing the skin of our face and maybe rubbing our chin, “It’s a mystery”?

How old do we have to be before we start to say, “It’s A Mystery”?

This week – Holy Week - we enter into the big mystery of life – of Christ – and of each other.

It’s a mystery!


Last night I went over to Marian Hall in our school to see our high school kids put on a new version of Oliver Twist. Brothers and sisters, moms and dads, aunts and uncles, grandparents, sat there seeing their son or daughter,  brother or sister, or nephew or niece singing and dancing and staring in a musical entitled, “Oliver With a Twist.”

It was excellent. I sat there wondering what everyone was thinking and feeling – hearing and seeing. I’m sure parents were crying and laughing – wondering and being surprised – and seeing the whole life of their son or daughter up to now – on stage and in their minds and hearts.

I’m sure some said inwardly, shaking their head outwardly, “It’s a mystery.”

After the show was over – after hugs and congratulations – after flowers – a man spotted me and said, “I was at the 5 o’clock for Palm Sunday – earlier this evening – and I thought of a homily for Palm Sunday you gave 5 years ago.”

That was total surprise and I said, “What did I preach on?” I don’t even remember what I preached on last Sunday – let alone 5 years ago.

“He said, ‘You said, This is not a bad week to be quiet.’”

I said, “Thank you – I was sitting here tonight saying to myself, ‘I gotta get a homily for tomorrow, Palm Sunday. You gave me an idea.’”

This is a good week to be quiet. This is a good week – to take a nice walk – somewhere – by oneself – to be quiet and reflective. This is a good week to
drop into church when there is nothing going on – and to just sit here. This is a good week – Palm Sunday – Spy Wednesday – Holy Thursday – Good Friday – Holy Saturday – Easter Sunday – to enter into the mysteries of Christ and oneself – and of life.


Life is mystery – surprise – not knowing what’s around the next corner – what’s going to happen tonight or tomorrow.

Death….  Crashes …. Good News …. Bad News …. Births ….

Mystery is a religious word. “The mystery of faith….” “The Mysteries of the Rosary….” In the opening prayers – from the back of the church – we heard, this morning, “Today we gather  together to herald with the whole Church the beginning of the celebration of  our Lord’s Pascal Mystery, that is to say, of his Passion and Resurrection. For it was to accomplish this mystery that he entered his own city of Jerusalem. Therefore, with all faith and devotion, let us commemorate the Lord’s entry into the city of our salvation, following in his footsteps, so that being made by his grace partakers of the Cross, we may have a share also in his Resurrection and in his life.”


I would dare to say, “Mystery – Go Figure – Trying to Understand – our life – is the Number One conversation we have with ourselves every day of our lives – and during the night – sometimes when we can’t sleep.

Why me? Why did this happen? Why was I born? When will I die?

As Shakespeare put it in his play – As You Like It:               “All the worlds a stage, 
          And all the men and women merely players. 
          They have their exits and their entrances. 
          And one man in his time plays many parts, 
          His acts being seven ages….”

This is a good week to sit there and see ourselves on stage – playing our parts.  This is a good week to sit there – and pray there – and get in touch with the mysteries of our life – as well as the others in our lives – as well as Christ’s footsteps compared with our footsteps.

It’s all so – so mysterious.

I like to push using the rosary not just for Hail Mary’s – but also for prayers like, “Thanks …. Help …. Wow …. Lord, increase my faith….”

I like to push from the pulpit that we use our rosary as worry and wondering beads. We all know the 5 Joyful Mysteries, the 5 Sorrowful Mysteries, the 5 Glorious Mysteries and now the 5 Light Giving Mysteries. What a great way of categorizing moments of our lives: Annunciation moments, phone calls that changed our lives…. Visitation moments, the doorbell rings, Births, Big presentation moments in our lives – in church, school, wherever, Findings – so too the sufferings, the agonies of life, divorces, fights, the arguing that cause headaches in the garden of our brain, and on and on and on.


This is a good week to enter deeply in the mysteries of our lives and see that we are walking in the footsteps of Christ.

Some days all is celebration. These are Palm Sunday moments. Some days we have the big meal – these are our Holy Thursday moments – when we are in communion with each other. Some days are horror and the horrible – moments filled falls and death and crosses – these are our Good Fridays – but because we are people of faith and hope and love – we know what Christ announces next Sunday – there is the mystery of resurrection – Easter - the mystery resurrection and life for all eternity with God and those who have gone before us. Amen.
March 29, 2015


          Lord Jesus,
          this week we walk with you into Holy Week:
          Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

          Holy Thursday: we hear Last Supper words
          of love and bearing fruit,
          as well as hints of denial and betrayal.
          With washed feet we receive you:
          bread and wine, body and blood.
          We walk with you one last time,
          this time hearing the call for Garden prayer.
          We fall asleep unable to watch and pray one hour with you.
          We run away from you, as you are being betrayed by a kiss.

          Dark Friday: we hide there the next day in the shadows,
          trying to get glimpses of you,
          crucified on wood with words and spit and nails.
          You die -- bleeding words of thirst, forgiveness and letting go.

          Empty Saturday: we sulk there in the silence,
          filled with doubts -- doubts that any of this has any meaning,
          not yet knowing resurrection. 
          We began this week with palm branches and Hosannas;
          we end this week with anxious empty silence.Our upper rooms, our minds,
are filled with fear and lack of peace.

          Sunday: we walk backwards talking only about yesterday,
not yet knowing the meaning of today! 
          Amen! Come Lord Jesus!
          You break through our walls;
          you walk into our thoughts;
          you stand on our shores;
          you break bread and words with us again. 
          Slowly, the whole story begins to take on meaning. 
          Slowly, we rise from our sleep,
          beginning to know that all of this had to happen this way. 
          We begin to see that life is celebration and Hosannas,
          passion and pain, death and resurrection. 
          Life is love and bearing fruit;
          life is betrayals and denials;
          life is death and then the hope of resurrection. 
          Amen! Come Lord Jesus!

© Andy Costello, Reflections 2015