I want to be holy. Holy as my Heavenly Father is holy. Holy as the saints and martyrs, priests, nuns, and other ‘holier than me’ people in my everyday life are holy.
After what I experienced earlier in the day on Monday, I was not sure that being holy was even a possibility. I had the (
honor? privilege? horror?) opportunity to attend a funeral. A former childhood classmate had lost her son. Her son, who she gave birth to just 4 months ago, had passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 22nd.
There were so many moments during the funeral that I noticed my whole body pulsating to hold back tears. At one point, I thought I would have to leave because I felt I was about to be sick. I happened to be sitting on the end of the pew, so I spent the entire Mass staring at this tiny casket. The reality of the loss of a child was quite literally in my face for an hour. I tried to hear the words of hope. I tried to grasp the “glory of the Resurrection” and I started thinking some scary thoughts.
The main one being, “I just came home to the Church, how can I stay? How can I joyously celebrate Easter one day, and the next not feel any comfort or trust in the words about that Easter promise for this child?” The next recurring thought I kept having was, “if these words aren’t helping me find comfort, how is any of this doing any good for my friend and her husband, their families?”.
The day before, I had reached out to our former classmates. We decided on setting up a prayer calendar for Michelle and her family for the month of April. As I left the funeral, I kept seeing messages file in with everyone picking their day, volunteering themselves and their families to also pick a day. The way everyone came together to fill up this calendar, offering to pray for this woman who many of us haven’t been in touch with in a while, was amazing.
It was as if God had played out the action of hope before me in a single day. “This is how,” He showed me. We live out the resurrection by being open to be the body of Christ that holds up those who are weary. Jesus gives us rest in the strength of one another’s arms. This is how they will go on, how we can go on. The ways in which we remain faithful, even in the darkest moments, is how the Church continues to be a hope for the hopeless. Even in the tomb of sadness, there is joy, there is hope.
I was worried that I would lose my faith and those I’ve known since childhood quickly restored it. Always have an open heart to be surprised by the ways God may choose to work. Always. Only He can make us holy.