The Inscape of the Mass
a reflection on the Paschal Triduum
by a Marian Sister of Santa Rosa
It must be that my soul’s eyes
See the clearer for the fast,
For in the Triduum I see
The inscape of the Mass
Do not Apostle’s gather ‘round
The table where He dines?
Does not He feed us from His hands
The self-same bread and sacrifice?
Does He not stoop to wash me clean
With water from His Side;
And does He not give me to drink
His Precious blood for wine?
In the cycle of the liturgical year, the Sacred Triduum stands out in a class all its own: Holy Thursday as a day of unparalleled liturgical catharsis, Good Friday as one in which contrition cannot but pour out as tears; all of which reaches its pinnacle on Easter, the Solemnity of Solemnities. Holy Week catches us up into the drama of our redemption and God’s infinite love for Man—and it is this very theme which is the inescapable motif of the entire affair: love.
"The works of art inspired by Scripture
remain a reflection of the unfathomable mystery
which engulfs and inhabits the world."
- Pope St. John Paul II: Letter to Artist (1999)
Vere, tu es Deus Absconditus
And like the deer for running streams
How my eyes thirst to see You!
At Christmas I beheld You
By angel choirs adored, but now
Their “Glorias” are gone and with them…my Lord?
To the ‘tonus peregrinus’ does my soul sigh, forlorn;
Has the Sanhedrin taken Him?
Where has my Beloved gone?
For even on the Cross, I see Him
Shrouded from my gaze;
His royal purples hide Him
Unto the end of these forty days.
I hunger for You, Adonai,
And will you hide from me?
Come back to me, Beloved,
Whose Face I long to see…
A Marian Sister of Santa Rosa
"The Church draws her life from the Eucharist.
This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith,
but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church.
In a variety of ways She joyfully experiences the constant fulfilment of the promise:
'Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age' (Mt 28:20),
but in the Holy Eucharist, through the changing of bread and wine
into the body and blood of the Lord,
she rejoices in this presence with unique intensity."
- Pope St. John Paul II: Ecclesia de Eucharistia