Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Elizabeth and Catherine visited Disney World for the first time today. Please know that I'm somewhat ashamed to have taken my family to the happiest place on earth on such an important day within the liturgical calendar. My conscience definitely reminded me more than once of the juxtaposition between this Friday and Good Friday.

For anyone who has been to the park over what Disney terms "Spring Break" (the weeks before and after Easter), you will know that the crowds offer some semblance of penance, though. It was packed. Also, trying to keep kids from melting down at this superlatively happy place presents, at times, a huge challenge.

Of course these reasons for justifying this trip are absurd and I offer them in jest. But, I did seriously reflect on Good Friday, despite being surrounded by such festivity. 

First and perhaps most obviously, I think that part of what makes Disney so successful, at perhaps what is a subconscious level, is that its stories touch on archetypal themes of good vs. evil and that everyone - no matter their origin - has an important part to play within this battle. These types of stories resonate with us. They give allow us to believe that there is something magical about our lives, something at work that we cannot quite explain. While I doubt that they would admit it, and I feel almost sacrilegious claiming it, but Disney's story is ultimately a Christian story.

The goodness of their unfailingly optimistic leader, Mickey Mouse, is downright saccharine at times. How can someone continuously be so darn happy, especially when Pluto hides the keys to his Mickey Mobile or when Donald gets the gang into a bind with Pete? The overall positivity of all cast members (Disney speak for employees) as well as any Disney story is parallel to the Christian message. Good will win. It will always win. 

This connection goes even deeper. The Disney story, unexpectedly because of this emphasis on being happy, does not discount the real presence of evil within the world. Even their parking lots are separated and labeled as heroes and villains. Evil is present and real. Life can be hard. People can be mean. Bad things happen. Good, however, will still win. Good, however, will always win. 

Christ, the real Incarnate of goodness, can be condemned. He can be betrayed. He can be whipped, humiliated, tortured, mocked and even killed. But good will win. Good will always win. 

Today is called Good Friday because we know the story doesn't end today. It doesn't end in death. Evil doesn't triumph. Good has to win. The story has to have a happy ending. Sunday has to come. Sunday will come. Sunday will always come.

Today was a good Friday; however, it pales in comparison to Good Friday. Good - Christ - will always win, even over the memories created at the happiest place on earth. 

Today. Tomorrow. Sunday. Always.

Christ will always win.