Reminds me of my younger, fitter days when I ran marathons. Around Mile 20, well meaning supporters and volunteers would be shouting to the runners, “ONLY SIX MORE MILES!!” Of course, at that point in a marathon, it might as well be six HUNDRED more miles! It just seemed so far from ending. Even so, there were signs that the ordeal was nearing completion. As my running buddies would say in those last couple miles, “I can hear the music!!” “I can smell the popcorn!!” And, finally, “I see the BALLOONS!!”
And then, it was done. Our medals were placed around our necks.
Well, Lent can feel that way sometimes. And though we don’t need sports drinks to sustain us…the signs are all around us. We sense a change in our spiritual journey in the final mile, beginning on Palm Sunday.
The liturgical colors change. The environment in the church changes. The Mass schedule changes. And if we look and listen carefully, we notice changes in people around us. Attitudes and expressions change. What causes it?
We see signs of hope.
Our hope in the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. That hope that promises our resurrection! That hope that lets us know that no matter how tough or challenging our life’s journey has been…there is something better. Something better than any finisher’s medal. Something we cannot even fathom. I always think of the words from 1 Cor. “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love Him...”
If you want a preview of the joy that we will all experience On Easter Sunday, I would encourage all to attend each of the services planned for Holy Week. The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Thursday), Friday of the Passion (Good Friday), and the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday).
The joy of the Resurrection will be far better experienced by attending all of the services. Just as the joy of getting a finisher’s medal is better felt by running the whole race.
Come and feel that joy as it unfolds in front of us in this busy, jubilant
And holiest of all weeks!