These past days we have had our Easter Retreat, walking with Jesus through his journey to Jerusalem, to Calvary, sharing in the desolation of Good Friday so as to enter into the joy of His Resurrection.
For each stage of the journey, the house was transformed. After the Mass of the Last Supper and the washing of feet, we all processed to the Conference Room which had been transformed into Gethsemane. Branches from the garden hung from the roof and trees were planted around the room. In the dim-lit candlelight, we sensed the anguish of Christ.
The following day, we prayed the stations of the Cross and made our own crosses to remind us of the immense love of Christ, before heading down to parish church to hear the passion narrative and to venerate the cross in an ancient ritual called, the creeping to the Cross.
During Holy Saturday we contemplated the absence of God as he descended into Hell. We reflected upon our own Holy Saturday moments when we don't feel close to God, when we wonder where he is, and we discovered on this day, He too has entered into these moments.
And finally, it was time to head down to the parish again, and celebrate the Easter Vigil. After the blessing of the bonfire and the ceremony of light, we heard of all the mighty deeds God had done through history, finally revealing himself in the Resurrection. We entered into this mystery by renewing our baptismal vows and celebrating the Eucharist. One young person said, 'I never really understood what Christ did until now. God went through all this for my salvation'.