There is an ancient legend that recounts how the Devil, on the day of the Resurrection of Jesus tried to get into heaven by pretending to be the Risen Jesus. The Devil – always a master of deceit and disguise – dressed himself up in the finest robes, and taking with him a contingent of demons all dressed up as angels, appeared before the “Pearly Gates.” With his Assistants as a choir, the Devil intoned the words of one of the Psalms, that has the line: “O gates, lift up your heads, grow higher ancient doors: let him enter the King of glory!” The Angels looked down on the one whom they thought was Jesus, the King of glory, returning after the resurrection from the dead. So they shouted back with joy the next line of the same psalm, that says: “Who is the King of glory?” And in turn the Devil replied: “I am the King of glory,” and in doing so opened wide his hands and arms in the form of a cross. But in that very act of arrogance, the Devil exposed his real nature and showed the Angels that he was an impostor. And they refused to let him in.
How did the Angels know that this was the Devil and not Jesus? Because when he opened wide his arms and hands, the Angels saw no wounds in his hands and his side!
Pain and suffering cause deep wounds and scars that are there for life. They don’t have to be physical wounds. Often the moral and psychological wounds are much more painful. We may try everything to ease or even get rid of pain and suffering altogether. But it may be easier to try to cope with pain, seeking God’s will even in these situations, as Jesus did.
In any case, when it will be our turn to knock on the Pearly Gates, if the Angels do not see any marks of suffering on us, how will they be sure that we are genuine followers of the suffering Servant and the Risen Lord?
In wishing you all a very Happy Easter, also on behalf of the Salesian Community, we are reminded that Good Friday and Easter Sunday are two acts of the same Drama; but we are not merely spectators, we have an active part to play.
Fr Frank Bertagnolli SDB
Source: Dominic College, Tasmania