Saturday, 30 March 2013

Exciting times

This is Holy Saturday. This morning I wandered into St Brigid's Church to find it buzzing with cleaners, flower ladies, people to do with the liturgy etc. I made my way around them, trying to encourage and thank as I went.
One lady spoke to me before I could say anything. "I love it", she said, "I love all this", looking around her, as she prepared her contribution to the beautiful Easter flowers. "It's exciting..."
And so it is. There was a real buzz in the church building. Easter is the most exciting thing in the Church and its year. What could be more exciting than waiting to celebrate the fact that God the Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit, raised his Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, from the dead?

But, for now, the tomb and its body are cold, the stone is unrolled. We wait - in excitement!
Somewhere, someone had soaked a cloth in the blood of Jesus, so the tradition says. By a circuitous route, that cloth found its way to Bruges in Belgium, where it is kept in the Basilica of the Precious Blood. My picture shows a custodian there holding the casket that holds the relic (which unfortunately you cannot actually see in my pic, so I found the one below on the net). I joined a few dozen people in August going up to touch it. Do I believe it is the blood of Christ? Probably not - but it might be, and in any case it reminds me that it's not a story. He must have lost an enormous quantity of blood, and then really did die. 

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