Sunday, April 16, 2017

the tomb is empty

Today is Easter.

You know that by looking at the calendar. I know it by walking down the street.
Religious processions are not rare in Latin America. I experience them regularly in my part of Mexico. But my Mexican experience is rather narrow. For a lot of reasons, Melaque and Barra de Navidad do not have Cecil B. DeMille-style processions.

Colombia does. Even the smaller towns like Sevilla.

We had just finished breakfast and were on our way back to the house to catch a local bus to our next stop -- Pereira, true coffee country.

The three of us despise routine. By sheer chance we decided to take a new route back to the house of Patty's father. And chance served us well.
The town's Easter procession had just formed and was on its way back to the church -- wending its way through Sevilla.

All of the beloved Sunday school characters were there. Mary. Joseph. Mary Magdalene. And, of course, the risen messiah.

Each on his own separate pedestal, heavy enough to extract the sufficient amount of physical mortification to conform with post-16th century Catholic theology. The weight was relieved during frequent stops only by staffs that were slipped under the pedestals.

What struck me was the seriousness of each participant. There was not a smile in the lot.

I thought that odd because this was Easter, not Good Friday. Theologically speaking, the resurrection is Christmas and New Year's Eve wrapped into one.
The crucifixion absolved us of our sins. The resurrection gives us the promise and hope of life eternal. It is a day of absolute joy.

But I was not entering into a street discourse with a Jesuit scholar -- as fascinating as that would have been. Instead, I was witnessing the devotion of Christians to their risen messiah. Literally, through the eyes of an angelic child.

Had we followed the procession back to the church, we may have seen the street dogs, who had perched themselves on the church’s porch, greet the return of the faithful.

On this special day of faith.

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