In one of my previous lives as a geology student, I carried with me certain tools and instruments to better understand the rocks and minerals I was examining in the field. These “tools of trade” so-to-speak included things like: a rock hammer to chip off a piece of stone to examine at hand, a small bottle of acid to test for calcium carbonates in the stone, a scratch stone to identify hardness of certain minerals, a Brunton compass to determine direction and slants of various outcrops, and lastly a field magnifying lens to look more closely at the interior structure of the rock at hand. This small, magnifying lens I had strapped around my neck with a leather tie, since I frequently used it. Of all the tools I carried, this folding hand lens was probably the most valuable tool I had, since with the help of that magnifying lens, I could determine the exact mineral content of each rock and ascertain what cemented them in. With that lens I could tell what kind of rock it was, whether a granite, gneiss, quartzite or shaley limestone, etc.
Believe it or not, I have written whole papers upon closer examination of one small sample of stone. Through these observations one can tell the parent material of the rock, it’s particular place origin, it’s structure, it’s age, what metamorphic processes it went through as well as how it was deposited in its present place. It’s amazing what one can learn by taking the time needed to look!
So what does this have to do with Holy Week?
Holy Week (which started today on Palm/Passion Sunday) is a wonderful opportunity to closely examine “the Rock” we call Jesus Christ and the Church he came to establish, of which we are all a part of. Think of our Holy Week services (i.e. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil/Sunday) as sort of magnifying lens to look very closely and carefully at who this Jesus is, where he came from, what metamorphic processes he had to undergo, and what exactly cements us all spiritually to be a part of him!
Each service in our Sacred Triduum takes a specific look at our Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection in order to enrich our understanding of our world and the God who made and saved us. This said, I encourage all of you to attend each of our services and examine the “Rock” on which we base our faith!
Words to Live By: “If you removed the rocks, the brook would lose its song.” Holy Week Blessings and Peace!