Sad to say but our grandmother needed to die first. We liked her a lot but her day arrived. It wasn’t long after that we got a color TV in our family home. A color TV. I thought we’d never get one.
Our black and white TV was okay until I saw a color TV through our living room window. You see, our neighbors, who were childless, got to purchase a precious color TV. Our home full of children could not. (You do the math.) “Ours is just fine,” was my mother’s dismissive answer to my plaguing requests.
The program was “Bonanza.” On a Sunday night. Around 1967. Walking through our living room, I looked through our window into the window of our childless neighbors. And there it was, as the announcer announced in those days (with a harp playing in the background), “Brought to you in living color on NBC.” Thinking today, I don’t know how color can have an adjective of “living” but it was very convincing to a young mind living in a house with too many siblings and watching the same show, only, in B/W.
Jesus says, “This is the time.” Just like Jesus, how does our dreary “black and white” Lent turn into the “living color,” (whatever that means) of Easter? Jesus talks as though he’s speaking to himself and not to his apostles. He seems to be saying, “Yes, I can do this…no, I’m not sure of this…yes, I can do this.” As though he’s convincing himself. Do you ever talk to yourself? Do you ever talk to yourself out loud? Don’t worry about it, I think it’s healthy. It’s only when you answer yourself that you need to consult someone.
“This is the time.” Fifth Sunday of Lent. The finish line is a mere two weeks away. We’ll be gathered here then honoring the most sacred feast the Church offers its followers. We’ll hear powerful words tossed about like hope, promise, covenant; new, eternal life hoping to have all of it land into our laps and hearts. How do we move from the “black and white’s” of our lives to “living color?”
Oh, but wait! What if this Easter is not your Easter? What I mean is that, what if your big “This is the time” moment isn’t until May 10, July 2 or even August 2 or sometime next year? Well, this Easter the Church shows us how it’s done so when it does happen to you, you’ll know the sequence, what to expect.
“This is the time.” We all have them throughout our lives, trust me on that. Do we let others make the decision for us so we have someone to blame if things go rye? Do we postpone that time as long as possible waiting for other options to pop up or do we just procrastinate? The Church gives us an Easter date but it may not our date.
I saw something very attractive through my window, through another’s window. I saw a hint of it. In “living color,” whatever that means. The counsel of friends and family members help me in my Easter, new life, discernment. I ponder and pray…never for answers (God doesn’t give answers) but for guidance, strength and what Scripture calls, “The right path.” How do we move from the “black and white’s” of our lives to “living color?” Life decisions, of all kinds, are never easy to make or resolve.
“This is the time.” Time for what? We each know, in our hearts, what it’s time for. Change? Modification? Renewal? Retrieving? Remembering? Admitting an addiction? Confronting someone about an addiction? Reconciling with a co-worker about a disagreement neither of you remembers? Letting go of an attitude about yourself that’s been holding you down for years upon years? Apologizing (always the worst)? Self-forgiveness (second worse)? Forgiveness of another, whether living or deceased (deceased is trickier but still doable)? The Church’s calendar gives a yearly date but your date with be as they say, “TBA.”
Simple or profound. It’s all enriching, folks. Whether it be done through life’s erasing or life’s enhancing. That’s the paschal mystery of Easter.
Remembering my grandmother’s color TV today, I perceive it now as new life and new attitudes and a renewed faith that this holy season provides. When our “This is the time” comes (whenever that is), please remember that announcer from many years ago proclaiming to you and your Easter decisions (complete with a harp), “And brought to you in living color on NBC.”