Friday, March 29, 2013

At One Point In My Journey,

I was satisfied in calling the story of Holy Week the central event in history, but of course, it's actually the central event in creation, part of the plan from the start. I didn't fully understand that until I came to St Mary's and had several Bible studies and adult-forum discussions with Fr Kelley.

Maybe because it comes up at different points in the lectionary, I've also been drawn in recent years to the story of the anointing in Bethany, which according to the scripture takes place only a week before the Passion:

Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein.
It isn't part of the Palm Sunday reading, and it's less dramatic than the kangaroo proceedings before Pilate and Herod, the scourging, and the stations of the cross, but it's part of the overall picture, and it's got Judas in it. Here, he isn't just the Betrayer, he's the treasurer, on the vestry, an officer of the church. Somehow, he's part of the plan here as well.

The events at St Mary's in 2011 and 2012 certainly put my wife and me through a spiritual crisis, and we're not alone: not just laity, but clergy in and out of the parish have been seriously affected as well. But from what I've learned, the events that led to Fr Wilcox's departure in 2005 and 2006 put others through just as much of a crisis; some who went through that period have suggested that maybe they're no longer even Christian.

I think again of the individual who suggested to me earlier this week that he'd thought going into St Mary's might be an easy way to become Catholic. He and the rest of us couldn't have been more wrong. I think for all of us, it's led to a form of spiritual growth we couldn't have anticipated, and it's likely not over, but then, the Catholic priest of our new parish prayed over us, in anticipation of our full reception at Easter, that we would continue to grow.