We are united in suffering.
This past week, I lost my uncle. It was sudden, and no one, not even him was expecting this. Leading into Holy Week, it could seem as though this was horrible timing: we will miss him dearly on Easter, without question, but God's timing couldn't have been more appropriate.
My uncle Larry was incredibly humble. He was a man of few words, but all those words were intended to serve others. Every action he took part in was to better a situation and ensure that the needs of others were taken care of. I feel as though this timing was a perfect example of this caring.
Larry's passing leads us into Holy Week. It allows us to join our suffering with Christ's and know the pain of loss is not only in our hearts, but also in the heart of the Father as he watched his Son be brutalized and slain. We will remember our Lord's passing as a universal community these next few days, never forgetting the victory of Resurrection that awaits us at the end of this journey.
Christ calls us. He draws us in tonight on Holy Thursday, giving us something physical and substantial so he can remain with us our entire lives. He allows himself to be sacrificed for our sake. He knows that this is for our good and suffers regardless.
I await the joy of the resurrection. But for now, I appreciate the permission to grieve and to feel that the Church provides in these next few days. In Her wisdom, the Church knows that there is a process, a tangible journey to the resurrection through the cross. Each one of us can join in that journey. Each of us can lay our sufferings down at the foot of the cross, knowing that we can also join in the joy of the resurrection - but even that involves a journey. Don't fear the journey, but lean into it, knowing that every situation will change.
Lord, allow us the openness to that journey and the ability to recognize you at every stage along the path.