We have entered Holy Week and we are aware that these Easter celebrations will be very different from normal. Palm Sunday branches, participation, Liturgies, candles, everything will be different. We could never have imagined when we wished each other Happy New Year 2020 what was about to take place and what we would be going through now! We have been through months of silence, loneliness, isolation, illness, death and at best we’ve been asked to stay at home.
At this moment in time everybody realises just what a gift life is. Nobody takes it for granted. Life is a miracle, it is a miracle to open our eyes, to breathe, see, walk, think or feel our heart beat. From this perspective it seems like we began Lent at the start of the New Year. The Stations of the Cross are real and they touch us existentially, we feel them in our flesh and blood. Humanity is climbing Mount Calvary. We are climbing it and we are weighed down by things, but Jesus is with us. The biggest difficulty when we go up Calvary carrying the cross is that we lose light, hope and love. Pain hides the view of the resurrection that is waiting for us.
There is a hymn from the liturgy of the hours that can help us understand where Jesus is in all that is happening in the world:
I’m walking along,
And I sometimes think I go alone,
Until I feel the step of another traveller beside me,
That walks at my pace.
I can’t see him, but he is there.
If I go quickly, he speeds up;
It would seem he wants to be by my side all day,
An invisible but reliable companion,
And, when I have to go up the mountain (Calvary
He calls it), I feel a painful wound
In the hand of the friend who helps me.
(José María Souvirón)
It is his hand that sustains us; it is he who lovingly welcomes all the people who have departed. It is He who has wept with us. He awaits the end of this chaos. But He doesn’t wait with his arms folded. He is the resurrection and the life. Death was not the end of Jesus. He has overcome his death and ours through his resurrection. Our final destination is the same as Jesus’, eternal happiness and life to the full. Do you believe this? Lord, I believe, but help my little faith.