Easter Greetings

Daffodils All In A Row, photo credit (c) likeitiz

Daffodils All In A Row, photo credit (c) likeitiz

Everywhere you look, read, browse, drive by, walk by, and listen to, there are ads and displays galore of the sugary-sweet cutest more adorable looking buck-toothed bunnies, yellow chicks, elaborately adorned bright-colored eggs in wicker baskets.  Our household has long be devoid of any such trappings.  I have a few pots of tulips, narcissus, and daffodils in my front porch and on my driveway.  No more little girls and boys in their Sunday-bests running around our yard in search of as many hidden Easter eggs they could find and fit in their baskets.

English: Easter bunnies, Omagh An early appear...

English: Easter bunnies, Omagh An early appearance at McLean’s shop off the Hospital Road (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of all the soundbites, news headlines, tweets, and social media likes and comments, I could not help but take pause at the news of the recently ordained pope’s decision to deviate from what is customary and tradition, to carry out a much revered rite on Holy Thursday, not at the grand Basilica where previous popes have washed priests’ feet to commemorate Jesus washing the feet of his 12 apostles at the Last Supper. I’m sure he ruffled some feathers among the Vatican curia and elite. Not the first time, however, and I’m sure not the last either.  I’m cheering him on!

Easter eggs // Ostereier

Easter eggs // Ostereier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Instead, this pope has made it his lifelong mission, which started even when he was a lesser known (but no less respected) man of the cloth in Argentina, to live, breathe, teach, practice, and be the embodiment of humility, asceticism, and a genuine unselfish regard and devotion to the welfare of others, especially the marginalized.

Although I may not agree with some of his stand on important social constructs as marriage equality or women’s reproductive rights, I can’t help but respect what he has espoused so far.  I also have a renewed sense of hope because I have read and heard that this pope has crossed many an aisle to reach out and commune with the Jewish community in Argentina.  And he has good relations with the staunchest of feminists there too.

And so, on Holy Thursday, March 28, 2013, Pope Francis went to a detention center in Rome, “Casal de Marmo,” where young offenders were incarcerated.  There were 12 of them, mostly in their teens. Of the 12, there were two women, a few were Muslim.  Now take that for breaking with tradition! Take that for being all-embracing and inclusive.  Take note, all you religious conservatives who cling to such narrow literal translations and interpretations, who would rather exclude out of fear than include, who believe they are pure in their little aseptic worlds.

Pope Francis washes the feet of a prisoner at the Casal Del Marmo Youth Detention Centre during the mass of the Lord's Supper on March 28, 2013 in Rome, Italy. L'Observatore Romano Getty Images

Pope Francis washes the feet of a prisoner at the Casal Del Marmo Youth Detention Centre during the mass of the Lord’s Supper on March 28, 2013 in Rome, Italy. L’Observatore Romano Getty Images

The act of washing people’s feet is a known ritual in many cultures, even in Asia.  It is a gesture of understated but no less resounding, poetic grace and humility.  For guests arriving at someone’s home, it is a tacit recognition of the long and maybe, difficult journey to the destination.  The practice was often performed by servants or slaves.  But when it is the master of the house that performs the ritual, the message is even further heightened and exquisite.  Now this is truly emulating an event from centuries past, a true celebration of a most simple and humble event.

As Father James Martin SJ said, “this speaks volumes about his priorities…there was another person who was critiqued for setting aside rules to extend compassion to others. And that person is the man whose death and resurrection we remember this weekend.”

Christ washing the feet of the Apostles, by Gi...

Christ washing the feet of the Apostles, by Giotto di Bondone (Cappella Scrovegni a Padova) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

P.S. I know that there are many of you who may be members of other religious institutions, or are agnostics or atheists.  I wrote this not to proselytize.  I am very respectful of other people’s beliefs and principles.  Whatever it is you believe in or don’t, divinity or not, this week’s celebration is about a truly remarkable person, at the very least.

I know that for centuries, people have done the most hideous unspeakable crimes against humanity in the name of God or Jesus or Allah or the prophets.  Those who have marketed their brand of God and glory.  Those who believe and act as though they had (and have!) the monopoly to the brand or the exclusive clarity of the Word, the Message, the Book.  To these groups, shame on you!

This entry was posted in Celebration, Daffodils, Easter Celebration, God, Human Rights, Pope Francis, Religion, Religious Freedom, Roman Catholic Church and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Easter Greetings

  1. munchow says:

    I am somewhat double sided about the whole pope institution, but it sure is good to get a pope that understands the poor. Great post.


  2. Malou says:

    I’m glad that we now have a pope who understands the poor and is showing his solidarity with the less fortunate not just in words but in his way of life. Great post, Mary-Anne! 😉


  3. beautiful post. i have often thought that it is not the faith that is the problem but the dogma and the interpretation it.


  4. Easter is a celebration of life and faith. Of remembering why we are here and being grateful for God’s love and blessings. Happy Easter.


  5. frizztext says:

    interesting Pope portrait…


  6. ristinw says:

    Happy Easter to you and to your family! Also, Happy April Fool 😀


  7. giselzitrone says:

    So schöne Bilder und Text,ich wünsche dir ein frohes Osterfest und einen schönen Tag.Lieber Gruß Gislinde


  8. esmeraldalyn says:

    It has been said that the first test of a truly great man is humility.


  9. What an awesome post. Thank you for speaking so eloquently, and Happy Easter to you and yours.


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