Wait With The Lord

April 15, 2017

Wait with the Lord,

Whose day is near,

Wait with the Lord,

Keep watch,

Take heart.

          --Taize Chant

 

After the first night of the Triduum, we walk together, eyes down, following Our Lord, incense trailing, voices rising, to the dark Garden which on Sundays is a classroom full of children. The apostles made a similar journey, without any pageantry or ritual.  They had no idea they would tell the story of this night for the rest of their lives and beyond, others taking up their testimony and re-creating the journey, until the Kingdom comes.

 

Although our love is real, our minds cannot fully appreciate what is about to happen and any words we offer up in silent prayer seem wholly inadequate to the moment. A feeling of being lost is beginning to set in, we can't see Him clearly for the darkness and the smoky, sweet air. We sense others around us, but not in the same way we do in daylight or joy.  The world seems indistinct and unsure.

 

The simplest of things He asks, Keep Watch With Me. And even that proves difficult.

 

Is it just me, or do we seem to wait better on Good Friday than we do on Holy Thursday?  Like the apostles, and even though we know the end of the story, is it more real when He is gone than when He suffers at the thought of the leaving?  Can we not apprehend His loss until it is complete?  

 

We don't wait very well.  We get our news instantaneously, a flash on a small screen the apostles would have thought sorcery. We certainly don't do stillness well either, considering it a sign of the lazy or unambitious.

 

But silence holds the key sometimes, especially on this night.  His humanity exists in the stillness of this night.  In darkness, He chooses to pray, but He invites us in, asks us to be there with Him. Like the apostles, we don't understand. Or maybe we do, and don't want to go.  When it's dark and still, sometimes are truest selves are very loud and can't be drowned out.  Maybe that's what we fear, our discomfort more than His suffering.  

 

We won't wait; we won't be still.  We stand resolutely in our egos, telling Him that this is not what we're about or not who we are. In some ways, we tell Him we don't need him.  In other ways, we tell Him our way is better.  We use the very gifts He's given us, to walk away or stay away.  It's more comfortable for us that way.

 

When all He wanted was for us to share in His humanity.  He was afraid and unsure and needed help.  He wanted his friends around Him, to share a peaceful moment at the end of their journey together, to give Him something to hold on to for the long night and dark day to come.  The darkness and stillness were not a place of judgment or despair as we fear; it was a place of love with the promise of infinite mercy and everlasting life.  Keep Watch. Take Heart.

 

 

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