I don’t know about anyone else, but Holy Week 2021 was a rough one for me.
The reasons are personal, but suffice it to say that the river of my life rounded a bend and is now striking off in a new and (initially) scary direction. Vocations are funny like that. The minute you think you know God’s plan, He shows you just how much more He has in store than what your feeble mind could fathom. No matter who you are, if you allow your soul to dwell in the mystery of the cross, Holy Week should always be a dark night of the soul – a time when God asks us to quiet our souls and listen.
On Good Friday, He asks us to enter in to the emptiness, the confusion, the pain, and the darkness that Christ felt during His Agony. He asks us to surrender our grasping will in the garden amidst our protesting cries. He asks us to remain silent while others berate and persecute us. Ultimately, He asks us to make a complete oblation of ourselves, naked and dying, before the Father of the world and say: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
And then on Holy Saturday, He asks us to wait in the silence of the tomb. He asks us to stand beside Christ’s Mother and the beloved and faithful disciple, John, silently sorrowing. He asks us to gaze on the lifeless corpse – the hands folded so reverently, the still breast that no longer rises and falls with the beating of a Most Sacred Heart. He asks us to descend interiorly into the valley of the dead and feel the heaviness of our sins that have brutally killed the Lord of the world.
But He also asks us to enter into a different kind of sacred silence with the Blessed Mother: a silence of trust.
How tempting it must have been for her to dwell on the past – all the happy times she had shared with Jesus, now stabbing her heart with the pain that those experiences were gone forever. How tempting it must have been for her to look into the future that seemed so bleak and empty without her Son. Although her intellect knew the promises of the Messiah, she must have felt that old anxiety that twinged her Immaculate Heart in the temple when she and Joseph sought Him with great worry.
All these thoughts must have swirled in her mind, and yet, she was called to wait in the silent sacrament of the present moment. My friends, I tell you that our ability as humans to surrender ourselves as a child to the present – that IS Divine Mercy.
I don’t know about you, but when I let myself dwell on certain areas of my past, I feel sad and angry. Whenever I dwell in the future, I get anxious and afraid. Thank goodness, there is another path.
His Divine Mercy is in the Now! When I try to rest in the present moment, there is a sense of calm and peace. Because, it is in the present that we are given the ability to focus on His Love for us. It is there that He gives us grace, not in the past or the future. When we are able to recognize the glory of Christ’s Mercy – the mysteries held within His glorious Death and Resurrection – our present becomes baptized into new life. From that renewed perspective, we are able with His Grace to view our past and our future through the lens of trust.
May this Divine Mercy Sunday bring with it a new life of peace and joy and most of all TRUST in the Divine Mercy of Christ.
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!
Jesus, I trust in you!