When we share stories of loved ones or historical figures we usually start with their birthday. We include significant events in their life and if they have died, we include that too. The summary of a human life- birth, life, death. But as Christians, every Easter, we get to glimpse the mysterious and holy experience of a do-over. We get a chance to be reborn into the life that God has imagined for us but that every year we fall short of living. This is both beautifully unique and blessedly communal.

Of all our Catholic liturgical celebrations, the Triduum is my favorite. We enter the holy space of our human events sanctified by the holy: washing, meal, prayer, carrying our daily crosses, agony, despair, love, betrayal, violence, a crowd becoming a mob, bribery and greed, death and……. wait for it…… (many disciples could not wait), rebirth – what we traditionally call Resurrection. And we get to do this every year because we need it every year. I would love to say that I am not treacherous, swayed by peer pressure, afraid, hungry, impatient every single year but sadly I am. So, when the Triduum rolls around again, I need it- every single year! And, by celebrating it with my faith community and my family who know me fully, I bring my whole self, flawed and yearning and am lifted up, united in prayer, absolved in forgiveness and nourished to be strengthened for the journey of the next year.

One year, my husband and I celebrated Triduum with our JustFaith community. JustFaith at that time was a 30-week immersion into the Catholic Social Teachings of our Church. We were a very diverse group of 15. We each had exceptionally different world views, ages, family demographics, careers, and approaches to Church life. What we had in common was a deep desire for understanding and putting meaning to the WHY of our worship and faith. We sought to grow in deeper relationship with God, our Church, each other. This intimacy and confidence propelled us into a new relationship with those whom we did not know but who in fact God leans toward …. the forgotten, the lonely, the widow, the marginalized …. the other and the stranger. Our often-uncomfortable journey into the margins echoed what we celebrate at every Sunday liturgy, but especially at Triduum- a holy do-over with God. God welcomes us into this holy place we call the human family which includes each and every one of us and requires of us to truly see each other’s humanity and dignity due to the nature of being formed in love by God and redeemed by Christ.

Every year during Lent and Triduum and Easter season, we are called to reflect, acknowledge and act on where we need a ‘do-over’ in proclaiming and living God’s Good News of love and mercy.

The past year brought us many opportunities and many communities that desperately need Good News: the Middle East, Ukraine; downtown Phoenix teeming with the unsheltered, children vying with cell phones for their parents affection and attention, colleagues battling depression, seniors facing hunger, the sick facing the bad news of a broken medical system, families suffering from the destruction of addictions and so much more. This seems like such despairing, bad news but it’s not- it is simply the human condition embedded in our current culture. God has the last word and that last word is Resurrection into a new relationship with God, with our community, with our families and with the ‘other’ whom we don’t know yet. I am moved to tears by God’s grace in allowing me this ‘do over’ once again.