John's Jottings

Easter 2018

The Greatest Showman

There is a story about St. Lawrence a deacon in the first century of the Church. His Christianity was discovered by the government, and he was arrested. Because he was a Deacon the Emperor assumed he was in control of all the money, and he told Lawrence, if he brought it to him he would set him free. St. Lawrence told him it would take a day to put together all the wealth they had accumulated, and he would bring it to him the next day. St. Lawrence was good to his word and the next day, he told the emperor that he had brought all the wealth of the church and if he would just open the door they would bring it all in. The door was opened… and hundreds of people came in, the cripple, the beggars, the deformed, the lepers, the elderly and those that just could not fit in. The emperor was not happy, maybe a better word was furious and had Lawrence put on a spit and fried.

Music has always moved me greatly, after Christmas I went to a movie called “The Greatest Showman”. The music and the story talked to me in an amazing way. I suppose the story of a poor guy making it big is always good stuff and then add great music, I’m sold. I liked that the people in the show… oftentimes they were men and women that were different than the norm. For example, the bearded lady, the midget man, the wolfman and so on. But I heard in the music a deeper longing that we all have. A longing to be loved and accepted, a longing to be healed and if not healed loved despite the bruises and wounds in our minds, hearts and bodies.

Today we celebrate Easter, the greatest show on earth, a man rising from the dead after three days in the tomb. This show has continued from that day to today. Unlike the movie which moved me for a couple of hours, what Jesus did changes everything forever, transforming our very being.

One of the songs “This is Me” has a deep longing in it, it is sung by the bearded lady and it starts out “I’m not a stranger to the dark, hide away they say, ‘cause we don’t want your broken part. I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars, run away they say, no one will love you as you are.” There is a deep longing in all of us to just be loved the way we are. In Jesus’ death and resurrection God is telling us that each and every one of us is important. Some of us have been lucky to have been deeply loved by someone and so our life is easier, but even then, when life is difficult, and we fail, in the many ways we can fail, we can begin to lose hope and unlovable.

Another line in the song the bearded lady sings is “I know that there’s a place for us, for we are glorious.” Through the Resurrection each of us can know that we can at least come close to the glorious person God wants us to be. Each of us at our birth was given something glorious, our true selves… but through sin, it is deformed and defeated, our decisions become disjointed and poorly formed, but through Christ we can proclaim “This is me”, cause in Christ “I will not let the shame sink in”. With Christ we burst through the barricades of sin through repentance and learn to ignore and even forgive those that don’t want us to be the person God created us to be and so we can reach for the Son. When we let Jesus Christ into our life we too experience the resurrection of who we are to be. We can exclaim “this is me” this is who God created me to be. I am healed, and Satan and his followers can no longer cut me down to dust. I am in Christ... “I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be, this is me. Look out for here I come.”

If you are bruised and wounded come to me, Jesus proclaims, and I will heal your hearts, I may even heal your bodies, I will heal your minds and spirit, I will make you a new person, I will let you share in my resurrection.
He has Risen, Alleluia!!!!!


God Bless all of you,

Fr. John, O.S.B.


Previous John's Jottings: