Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair.
A Word of Hope
On this Holy Monday, as the above scripture reminds us that Mary of Bethany was symbolically anointing Jesus for his burial, we are faced with several days of turmoil, confrontations, betrayal, and finally the death of the man called Jesus. Throughout the heartbreaks of the week, of one thing you can be certain. Death is Not the End.
You will be reunited with your loved ones. Heaven promises everlasting joy for the departed, and it is a place where you will one day see all of your loved ones gathered together. There will be no more crying and no more pain. I have lost loved ones, and I have learned that no one wants to say goodbye. No one wants to live in a world where their loved ones are not in it. Losing a loved one is the hardest things anyone will ever have to go through. Knowing that death is not the end, but a new beginning, makes everything that you are going through less impossible to deal with.
God is not punishing you, and their deaths are not your fault. No one is expecting you to act as though everything is okay, but remember, anyone who loves you wants you to be happy. That means that you do not have to stay bitter, angry, and miserable for your entire life. If you died, would you want that for your children? If not, then live! You are allowed to grieve in your own way and in your own time. We all want to live a happy life, and you can only do that if you try. There is no one who ever lived that did not face hard times. With age comes many experiences that we cannot avoid, but hope never dies; hope is just hard to see sometimes.
Everyone has a time appointed to them when they meet God. We know that God lives, and that God prepares an eternal home for us in heaven. Your loved ones are happy where they are, so do not punish yourself for your loved one’s blessing. The best thing you can do now is to honor your loved ones by taking care of yourself. When you do this, you are fulfilling the wishes of the ones who returned to God. You will get through this pain, you will find the strength, and you will live on never forgetting the ones you love. And we can thank Jesus for that.
God, on this Holy Week as we face the reality of death in all of our lives, we need you now to wrap us in your arms. The pain makes it hard for us to even breath. Heal our hearts and help us. Have compassion on us and bring our souls out of the depths of despair. Give us strength. Help us to not be bitter or angry, but rejoice over your children returning home. Please do this for us and bring your children together again. We need you. Oh, how we need you. We do not understand your will, but we desire to. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare