Our subconscious is a beautiful part of our being, but all too often we use it as a deposit for painful and unwanted memories. We toss bothersome memories into our unconscious because they make us feel bad.
Perhaps St. Peter's most painful memories were his denials in the courtyard when Jesus was arrested. At the last supper Peter had even boasted, "Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you."
God's mercy explodes upon the apostles in the Upper Room on Easter Sunday night when Christ appears to them in His resurrected body and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."
On Sunday, March 27, we celebrate the greatest feast day of the year. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is both a specific past event, and an ongoing mystery. Mary Magdalene, Peter and John gave witness to the historical event of the Resurrection, but we give witness to the ongoing mystery.
Mary Magdalene went to the tomb on Easter morning when it is still dark to be near the body of the person who had changed her life so drastically by casting out seven demons.
On Palm Sunday, we journey with Jesus through the final week of His earthly life. As He travels to Jerusalem on a donkey, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road, "praising God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed, 'Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.'" This echoes the angels in Bethlehem who proclaimed His birth. The rest of the Palm Sunday readings tell a different story.
Even with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, we can't grasp the depths of God's revealed Word or the mysteries offered. At best, we merely glimpse how glorious is the life promised by God's Word.
The first reading for the Fifth Sunday of Lent is an excellent example. As great as was the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt or the destruction of Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea or the preservation of the Israelites in the desert for 40 years, none compare to what God has in store for us.
The readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent celebrate God removing the oppression of sin from the hearts of His people.
In the first reading, the Lord tells Joshua, "Today I have removed the reproach of Egypt from you." At this time, the Israelites were no longer oppressed slaves. They could worship God freely and openly and enjoyed the dignity of raising their own food. It was a new start in a new land with new freedoms — free of the yoke of slavery.