The other night as I was making dinner, I put a few grapes on my son’s plate. One of them was tiny, and I smiled as I left it for him to find.I went back to the kitchen to finish cooking and forgot about the grape.
Ten minutes later when our little boy slid into his seat to see what was for dinner, he spotted the little grape, and he came running to find me.
“Mom!” he said, “I see what you did! You gave me a baby grape!”
“You got me!” I said. “I picked that one just for you.”
We laughed together. After dinner, as I was washing the dishes, I smiled thinking how much joy we can find in those small gestures of love—especially now. Somehow in this time of anxiety and indefinite quarantine, when so much seems uncertain, we seem to be primed for those moments of happy discovery—those moments when we see how much we are loved by God and by others.
Even though I am typically optimistic, I often wonder whether this is the easiest part of the journey—the time before I’m sick, before the people closest to me are sick, before the economic crisis gets even worse, before the novelty of this quarantine has worn off for everyone, before this whole chapter stretches into the far-ahead future.
Not that this part of the journey always feels easy. This week my emotions seemed to catch up with me. I started feeling overwhelmed in a way I have not experienced. It wasn’t any one thing. It was all the things—many of them outside my control. I continued doing all the things I had to do, but emotionally I fell apart. I realized I had to reset my expectations in some ways. And my husband and family and friends reached out to help.
I found myself thinking that there’s a reason Jesus surrounded himself with his closest friends for the Last Supper. Even the Son of God—divine and knowing that His Father would bring about good through his suffering and death—wanted to be with those who loved him on earth as He prepared for what lay ahead. He didn’t want to be alone.
We need one another.
As humans, we also need those tangible signs of love from God and the people He has placed in our lives.
At this point in our Lenten journey, we come face to face with the most tremendous act of love—Jesus’ death on the cross. We do not know what the future holds, but we know we are loved. We know what love looks like. And we know that God is present even the moments of darkness and uncertainty, that there is something good that will come even out of the solemn stillness of Good Friday.
We remember. We celebrate. We believe.
May you see God’s love and the love of those in your life in many beautiful ways this weekend, as we await what we know lies ahead in this miraculous story of hope and joy born anew in our world.
The photo of the crucifix was taken in the rectory chapel at St. Joseph’s in Texas, Md.