Do you remember that Burt Bacharach song, What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it’s wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
What will you lend on an old golden rule?
Bacharach and David’s haunting melody and lyrics pair magificently with Dionne Warwick’s 1966 interpretation. She cries out humanity’s existential search for meaning: Who am I; Why am I here?
The confusion and sorrow inherent in these lyrics have amplified exponentially in the last six decades. As has the power of those proclaiming their remedy to all human suffering: expunge and persecute humanity’s true identity as sons and daughters of God.
I’ve thought repeatedly of this phrase these past Holy Days as we’ve moved slowly toward this Resurrection Day. The culmination of the three-year ministry of the Son of God. Reflecting, meditating and praying on the Gospel readings of these days.
I’ve done many kindnesses. For which of these do you want to kill me?
And, “I say to you, one of you is about to betray me.
My soul is sorrowful onto death, stay and watch with me.
And to Peter’s “Though all may have their faith shaken in you, mine will never be,, Amen I say to you this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.
Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
Wrench another WHY? from the shreds of our sinful hearts. He who was equal with God willingly emptied Himself, descending from the High Heavens to become a helpless infant, walk in the dust of ancient Isreal, subject Himself to mockery, spittle and the torture of scourging and crucifixtion.
It was because of this that he humbled himself, obediently accepting death, even death on a cross.
He who would not grasp equality with God descends to grasp us: You and me up and out of the muck of our egodramas.
He tells us precisely why. Over and over He declares I do nothing but what the Father asks of me. Following the Father’s command to shoulder every single sin commited by every single soul since the beginning of humanity: becoming, literally sin. Forever ending the domination of the hater of humanity.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Christ overcame death by dying—mortem nostram moriendo destruxit. This is the paschal cry rising in unison from both the Eastern and Western Churches today. Death is no longer a wall, smashing everything that crashes into it. It is a passage—that is, a Passover. It can be likened to a “Bridge of Sighs” beyond which we enter into real life where there is no death.
The most awesome part of the Christian message is that Jesus did not die just for himself. Unlike Socrates, Jesus did not simply leave us an example of heroic death. He did something quite different: “One has died for all” (2 Cor 5:14), St. Paul exclaimed, and elsewhere Scripture puts it “that he might taste death for everyone” (Heb 2:9). These are extraordinary statements, and the only reason we do not shout for joy when we hear them is that we do not take them seriously and literally enough. “All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death” (see Rom 6:3). We have entered into a real, even if mystical, relationship with that death. We have become sharers in death, so much so that St. Paul is bold enough to proclaim in faith, “You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3), and again, “One has died for all; therefore all have died” (2 Cor 5:14).One Man has died for all
We know what it’s all about, faithful Christian brother and sister. It’s about this Man, this glorious, perfect God-Man who came to kick satan, and all his demonic minions, in the teeth to defeat his kingdom of death. And so, we are amboldened in our rejection of the nihilistic, antiChristian propaganda of our days. Because we know and believe that we’re called to be saints.
It’s not just priests who have been annointed as priests, prophets and kings.: Other Christs. It’s each of us who has been baptized and confirmed. He died so we can become saints, an annointing for the world. Bishop Barron explains:
“God’s center—the love between the Father and the Son—is now offered as our center; God’s heart breaks open so as to include even the worst and most hopeless among us. In so many spiritual traditions, the emphasis is placed on the human quest for God, but this is reversed in Christianity.”
In fact, He calls us to renew the face of the earth, take unbelievers by their virtual hands and share our annointing for the world.
He has risen—And so have we.
Amen and Alleluia!!….,..,
Following the Father’s command to shoulder every single sin commited by every single soul since the beginning of humanity: becoming, literally sin. Forever ending the domination of the hater of humanity.
Yes !! Thanks be to God
A most holy and blessed Easter season my friend—-50 days of Grace, may we absorb and assimilate!!