Holy Week serves as a final exam for dual-life multi-taskers like me. Today I’m emailing a Canadian Boys choir director about his upcoming concert tour, studying the music for tomorrow’s Tre Ore and Veneration, and searching for edibles in the freezer to avoid a trip to the supermarket. The only thing left to do is piece together something special to wear to the Easter Sunday Masses.
I’ve never been a slave to fashion and rarely bought new clothing until some other item deteriorated. My one concession to high Easter fashion was the poncho I crocheted when I was about ten years old. (Hey, go easy on me: it was the 1970s, after all!) I chain stitched those skeins of yarn for hours to prepare the yellow and purple fringed woolen cloak ready for Easter Sunday morning. Of course God, Whose sense of humor was evident during even my early years, decided to hike the temperature of that spring morning to a sweltering 70 degrees. Draped in that garish, heavy woolen cloak, I nearly melted as I attended Mass, but I proudly wore it just the same.
The poncho is long gone now (I believe it starred in its own episode of “What Not to Wear”), but that gaudy cloak was on my mind as I reread tomorrow’s Passion reading from the Gospel of John. It tells of Jesus’ arrest and how he was brought to the praetorium, where Pilate had him stripped of his clothing, scourged, then presented to the crowd for further humiliation.
“So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And [Pilate] said to them, ‘Behold, the man!’” (John 19:5)
Our Emperor’s cloak was tattered, bloodied, and meant as an insult, yet He never looked more majestic as He, blameless, stood ready to die for our sins. The burial cloths that swaddled him as he lay in the tomb, too, were unworthy of their task. When He rose, they were left behind and His glory shined forth unencumbered.
So, take the Lord’s example in planning your Easter outfit this year. Let the joy at His resurrection radiate from within you, and whatever you wear this Easter will pale in comparison. Have a blessed Triduum!