Spring has finally loosed all its charms here in the Arkansas Ouachitas. Even the dogwoods have caught up — blooming just in time for Easter.
Passover is coming. Growing up outside New York City in a town where most everyone was Catholic (Irish or Italian) or Jewish, the coming of Holy Week also meant the coming of Passover. We all had a week off school to mark the holidays. We all had just enough Sunday school or Hebrew school to make our parents happy. Not theologians by any stretch of the imagination, but we had a pretty good idea of the basics and what went on in each church or synagogue.
But even if you’re not immersed in the movement of the liturgical seasons, popular culture, particularly commercial retail, throws some pretty good clues. Hard to miss the chocolate bunnies, pastel Peeps, egg coloring kits and brightly colored baskets that signal Easter. In Arkansas,it seems finding evidence of Passover is a little tougher. Most years, the major tip off can be found in a tiny corner of the “international foods” section. It’s that empty space in the shelf where the matzos were.
As the church marked the fifth and final Sunday of Lent 2012, couldn’t help but meditate on the image borne in the glass and lead of one of the north windows, a large Star of David. An odd thing in a Catholic church? As Christians come to celebrate salvation, it’s a good reminder of where it all began.