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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk:

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  April 7, 2017 --

The Christian calendar year is marked by a series of emotional highs and lows as we follow the life of Christ. Christmas is one of the high points, with the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. We continue through the Epiphany season, marked by continued revealing of who the Christ is, starting with the visit of the Magi, and followed by the fleeing of the Holy Family to Egypt to avoid Herod’s persecution. They become a refugee family. Then comes Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, when the Holy Spirit descended on him. Jesus now starts gathering his disciples. Then follows the miracle of Cana, where Jesus changes water into wine. According to John, this was Christ’s first miracle.

After the Epiphany season we enter into Lent. This is neither a high nor a low, but rather a plateau which allows for reflection, repentance of things done and left undone, and acceptance of God’s free forgiveness for all who ask for it. It can also be considered the calm before an emotional storm.

The eight days in the Christian calendar starting with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter Sunday provide us with two large emotional swings. We start with the emotional high of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, then descend into His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, His betrayal and arrest, the trial before Pilate, His crucifixion and death on Good Friday, and finally rise with Him, triumphant, on Easter morning.

We can follow all of this on several levels. We could just consider it as an outline of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. But we could also consider that for all of us life is never continually on an even keel, but may have profound ups and downs, with events that lift us to sometimes extraordinary emotional highs and sometimes plunge us into depths of despair and feelings of abandonment. Nevertheless, if we look at the life of Christ, with its many ups and downs, and relate it to our own lives, we should keep in mind that ultimately Jesus ends on a high, with the Resurrection. And St. Paul tells us, in the letter to the Romans: “Therefore, through baptism we were buried with him into his death so that, just as the Messiah was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too may live an entirely new life. “


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