By: David Chacko, AMS Co-Sponsored Seminarian, Archdiocese of San Antonio
Right now is truly a shocking time for all of us. So many are experiencing sickness and isolation, feelings of uncertainty, and powerlessness. And throughout the world, many are experiencing the painful absence of the Mass and the Sacraments. Nevertheless, in spite of the pain and sadness we feel, let us remember that no situation is beyond the reach of God’s grace. In fact, it is in moments like these that we are precisely invited to recognize the presence and the nearness of Jesus. “What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? … No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35-37)
Let us consider during the remainder of this season of Lent that Jesus is allowing each of us individually to share in the loneliness He experienced on his Way of the Cross. Only a handful of loved ones–mostly women–accompanied Jesus to the hill of Calvary, and even they were kept at a distance from Him. With Jesus on the Cross, we can each individually cry this Good Friday, “I thirst!” St. Teresa of Calcutta considered that her vocation was to share in the thirst of the crucified Jesus for love and for souls. Jesus is extending to all of us the grace to share in His thirst this Lent. Let us call out: I thirst for You, Jesus! I long for Your Eucharistic love! I yearn for Your scattered children to be gathered together again, and for your wounded Body to be made whole.
That first Easter, there were no public gatherings or loud celebrations. Instead, there was simply the quiet awe of recognizing the risen Jesus in the midst of small gatherings of disciples–in the upper room, on the road to Emmaus, in the garden of Christ’s tomb. When our Lenten journey draws to a close and we celebrate Easter at home this year, let us consider that we are experiencing a share in the very first Easter. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to inflame our hearts with love, hope, and joy just as He did for Mary and the apostles after that first Easter Sunday.