As I wrote a few days ago, LCWR is the blessed "jerk" that has pulled me deeply into relationship with Jesus. Sunday's readings from Matthew 26 and 27 remind me vividly that LCWR's quietness (which used to befuddle me and now inspires me) is a direct result of LCWR's discipleship.
LCWR takes Jesus' example seriously. Many of us don't.
Then the high priest said to him,
“I order you to tell us under oath before the living God
whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“You have said so...."
Caiphas understands "the Christ" to mean the Messiah who will bring political and spiritual liberation to the Jews. But this is not how Jesus is the Christ. Caiphas' words hold truth beyond what he can comprehend.
[Later] Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him,
“Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word,
so that the governor was greatly amazed.
Again, the accusation holds truth, but not the truth that Pilate means.
In the face of misunderstanding, Jesus does not counterattack, demean his accusers, or take on the impossible task of expanding his accusers' worldview in the middle of dramatic confrontation. Jesus acknowledges what the accusers say, and stands quietly.
This is one way of giving one's life for the truth.
It's not the pattern that comes naturally to most of us. When I find myself drowning in a worldview that is missing important information, I want to offer that information, even if the other person can't possibly take in my words at that moment. When I find myself accused unjustly, I want to defend myself.
Yes, sometimes I manage to bite my tongue - but I don't envision Jesus with a tongue bitten raw. While perhaps fearful of what he knew was coming, I see him also standing in the peace of God, quiet because that moment called for quiet. Defense or explanation would have been useless and distracting noise. He responds from grace, in grace.
These weeks of communal Lenten contemplation with others in Solidarity with Sisters have given me unaccustomed hours of quiet. Quiet can hold me in peace. Is that part of what Jesus was doing? Yes, quiet was "amazing" to his accusers, but, more importantly, did quiet hold him in God's peace?
I see LCWR standing in similar public quiet, hoping for mutually open dialogue with the bishops and with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
I pray for Resurrection. I pray that the CDF mandate may be resolved -- this Easter season? would that be too much to hope for? -- in a way that inspires the faithful and nourishes the leadership of LCWR and of our entire church.