During these last days of Lent the Gospel readings at Mass have more and more revelations about Christ’s divinity. At one point the Jews pick-up rocks to stone Jesus for blasphemy, accusing Jesus, “You, a man, are making yourself God.” Jesus’ response was this:
If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. (John 10:31-42, the Gospel reading for Friday, March 26)
Recognizing Jesus, a man in the flesh, as also a divine being was not to be understood by the Jews. Even today, so many people are walking away from faith tradition in favor of humanism, and more and more are questioning the duality of Christ, human and divine. But we are coming up on the most important event in human history, Christ’s Resurrection. This is the ultimate ‘work’ when Christ rises from the dead.
The Church has many traditions to commemorate and celebrate Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. One of these traditions is Passiontide, where all the statues, paintings and crucifixes are covered, or veiled, in purple cloth. The Passiontide season goes from the Fifth Sunday of Lent to the Easter Vigil. Up until 1969, the Fifth Sunday was called Passion Sunday.
Veiling the statues is significant because it brings our focus on Christ alone. We take away the works of man, the human things, and focus on the revelation of Christ’s divinity.
Let us contemplate the works and words of Christ these next two weeks as we prepare for Easter, remembering these words of Christ: Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.