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  • Sarah Raad

Sung

As He walked out to His death, Christ sung – so that I would hear His music with my dying breath…

The Last Supper (Tintoretto)

I have been reflecting on a single line of scripture since Lent and I have not been able to get it out of my mind…


“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” (Mark 14:26).


This line – this small rather insignificant line – recalls the experience of Christ SINGING as He left to endure His Passion and Death after the Last Supper (and the Institution of the most Holy Eucharist, which we commemorate in the Fifth Luminous Mystery of the Most Holy Rosary).


And the reason that this line has stayed with me since the final weeks of Lent, is because it is the ONLY TIME in the Gospel that there is an account of Christ singing…


Here, Christ – the Pascal Lamb, the Lamb being led to the slaughter – sung a hymn…

On the night before He died – knowing the suffering and the death that He would endure – Christ sung…

I imagine what I would do if I were to hear news of my own imminent death… How would I prepare? What would my “bucket list” contain – so to speak? What would I cram into the last few moments of this earthly life before I took my final breath?


Would I go on a trip, a holiday, with my loved ones? Would I stop working and just sit around talking to people who I loved and soaking up every minute with them and allowing them to soak up moments with me? Would I let the house turn into a trash-heap and spend every waking moment having fun and neglecting all the responsibilities of life?


After all, death is the GREAT UNKNOWN and naturally we humans feel great fear in the face of death... Of course, we fear death – for we were created for LIFE not death. And yet – Christ blessed death by His Death and His blessing changed Death! The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that Christ’s Death “transformed the curse of death into a blessing,” as it is through death that we now have access to eternal life (CCC 1009).


Scott Hahn in his book, “Hope to Die” explains, “What is essentially new about Christian death is this: through Baptism, the Christian has already ‘died with Christ’ sacramentally, in order to live a new life; and if we die in Christ’s grace, physical death completes this ‘dying with Christ’ and so completes our incorporation into Him in His redeeming act.”


You see, on the night before He died, Christ completed His bucket List. On the night before He died, Christ washed feet…


And afterwards, when the washing was done, then – as Christ was walking out to His Death – He SUNG…


And I think I can understand why…


He sung, so that we would hear His voice when we walk out to death…


And it is that hymn that I pray to hear as I walk out to my own death one day. For what a gift my Beloved has given to me, as He walked out to His death, He sung – so that I would hear His music with my dying breath…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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