Wednesday Word: Notre Dame is Burning
That four word text went out to my wife and daughter when I heard the news about the fire at the famous cathedral. Seeing the smoke billow from the building, watching the spire collapse, was an almost unbelievable and surreal experience. Seeing the overhead drone footage of the fire was like looking into the mouth of hell itself.
But as tragic as this event was, it seems to have happened at the right time. Let me explain.
We are in Holy Week, the last week of Lent. This season began on Ash Wednesday: Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return. All of us, and all of our creations, will return to dust at some point. The fire at Notre Dame reminds us that no one and no thing is everlasting except God.
We are in Holy Week, that time we betray and deny Christ, and watch him die. This is a difficult time. Watching the great cathedral burn felt like watching it die. My mind flashed back to the churches that were destroyed during WWII and never rebuilt, but left to stand as bombed- and burned-out shells of buildings. I had that same feeling, thinking that future generations would only see the remains of what was. In the midst of life, we are in death.
We are in Holy Week, that time we look with hopeful expectation to the Resurrection. As I watched the footage from Notre Dame, I saw the photo from inside the damaged cathedral of an undamaged Altar and cross. In the midst of life, we are in death. Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return. All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
As we move through the rest of this Holy Week, may Notre Dame be a symbol for our faith: life, death, and resurrection.