“Not the red screen of death!” Our high school teen’s cell phone was irreparable. I observed that day how she went through a small death, not so much a threat to her life, but to life as she knew it. Frustration, disorientation, and anger inevitably resulted from her loss. We like life as we know it, and sudden changes jar us out of our rhythm.
Change usually involves a loss, and this loss usually connotes a small death. Even a little death is a harrowing and bitter pill to swallow. “Sorry, we ran out of coffee, how about tea?” Other changes signal a greater demise. “The test results show a cancer.” Whether facing a trivial or a major life shift, disappointment, insecurity, and fear disorient our minds, and newly imposed conditions cause our stomachs to revolt. Yet, life moves from one second to the next like a drop of water advances from one spot to the next in a river. Change and loss are especially inherent in the life of a disciple of Jesus. In fact, discipleship denotes precisely a life of transformation.
We, the Baptized
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again; this is the mystery of our Faith. This too is the mystery of our lives as the baptized. The incredible event that took place inside the tomb on the first Easter happens with our souls. We, the baptized have already died and there remains a cold, dark tomb in our hearts. “May all who are buried with Christ in the death of baptism, rise also with him to newness of life” (prayer in the Baptismal Rite). We, the baptized have already experienced a resurrection. We are bathed in His Easter light, donned with the white garment of our dignity as a son or daughter of God, and animated by the pure breath of the Holy Spirit. The Blessed Trinity comes to dwell in our hearts. In living this resurrected life, we experience a type of metamorphosis the Holy Spirit forges in our minds and hearts as we respond in faith, hope, and love to life circumstances.
The small deaths we suffer through life losses can be occasions for new life when we are open to the work of the Holy Spirit. Suffering can be instrumental to strip us, “I must decrease.” Grace, on the other hand, allows us to call on Jesus where, “He must increase,” in us even as we bear the wounds of our small crucifixions. As Easter people, the series of small deaths we undergo because of conversion is not an inconsequential dying, and the series of small resurrections is not an insignificant rising. They mark our transformation from glory to glory to become like Jesus. Christ has died, and so do we. Christ is risen, and so we do. Christ will come again, and we, Easter people, hope for our final resurrection in Him at the end of time.
Room for the New
Finally, the package came. After three days of moaning, groaning, and gnashing of teeth, our daughter excitedly plugged in her new phone. In a little while, the device that arrived ‘dead,’ came to life.
Copyright 2020 Nanett Horton