Now it was about the sixth hour (noon), and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour (ca. three o’clock PM). Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.’ Having said this, he breathed his last (ἐξέπνευσεν, gave up his breath).” (Lk 23: 44-46)

That Friday afternoon the Son of God gives up His life, His breath, to bring us new life. This crucial, - literally crucial, - “breath” is both an end and a beginning. It is the end of the separation between God and human beings, signed by the veil that separated the Holy of Holies, God’s earthly dwelling-place, from the rest of the Temple and the rest of the world, the dwelling-place of mankind. Through the “tearing in two” of Jesus Christ, Who endures the separation of soul and body in death, the old separation between God and us is dramatically, emphatically removed, torn asunder.

Thus a new creation begins; a renewed “Yes” of the Creator toward His creation. And it begins as the old creation began in Genesis, with “darkness” (Gen 1:2, “and darkness was upon the face of the deep”). God “dims the lights” in His salvific Theo-drama (as von Balthasar so aptly put it), to re-focus my attention on His new light, which is soon to arise from the Tomb.

Today let me open my heart, mind, and body to God’s emphatic “Yes” to me and all creation. And let me not fear any darkness or fragmentation, that is, any “tearing in two,” through which God may send me in His re-generative, re-creative process. “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (Jn 1: 5)

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