In my last post, I talked about how I wanted to focus more on prayer and charity for Lent. Did I ever get my wish. This Lent has been a particularly roller coaster time.
Lent began this year with the news that one of my cousins had successfully made a harrowing escape from Ukraine where he had been teaching English, and was safe, for the moment, in Poland. The whole family breathed a collective sigh of relief and offered various prayers of thanksgiving. Only a few days later, his mother died, and we were taken from the highs of rejoicing to the depths of mourning. None of us knew what would happen now. Would my cousin make it home? And what would happen to his disabled sister?
The funeral came and went, and yes, my cousin made it home. I was unable to attend due to my own health issues, but was able to share thoughts which were read aloud by a relative. Meanwhile, my elderly father had fallen and shattered his elbow. He had to undergo surgery and have a plate put in. He seems to be recovering well, but it has been difficult at times due to his dementia. And now, just a day or two ago, another aunt of mine found out she has cancer. It has definitely been a Lenten time of prayer.
Lest it seem that all of Lent was bad, I did have the opportunity to focus on charity. However, it was not in the way I expected. Rather than finding ways to be charitable, I was given the opportunity to experience the humbleness that comes with being the recipient of charity. I was blessed with unexpected gifts and help that really made the difference between trusting in God versus living in despair.
Which brings me to my final thoughts. Today is Great Friday, and we enter into it with solemnity and the remembrance of Christ’s death upon the cross. But we also have knowledge the disciples did not possess. We know that Christ rose from the dead, and in so doing gave us life and hope and joy. So no matter how many sorrows Lent has brought, nor how many lessons Lent has taught us, let us cling to the knowledge that Pashca is almost here. Lets us push through in reverence and hope, so that in just a short time we can pronounce loudly and fiercely the joy of Christ’s triumph over death.