So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.
April 5, 2021, Words By: Lana Rocke, Image By: unknown
Today’s reflection comes from Lana Rocke, one of 11 women currently in dicernment for ordination in the Street Psalms Community.
It’s Holy Saturday and Mary is on my mind. Actually, she’s at work in my heart. Maybe that’s because I too am a mom.
I love being the mother of two sons. They have drawn me out in ways I didn’t think possible. For example, I think of myself as even-keeled and chill. Like Mary, I can hold a lot in. However, I came to discover that’s not always the case.
I remember when our oldest son, Grant, was playing basketball as a 4th grader. A boy on the other team tackled my son during the game. Without thinking, I aggressively yelled, “Get OFF my son!” Everyone sitting around me heard it. It was loud enough that I shocked myself. Pretty sure I embarrassed my son.
I realized, “Wow, I am a protective mom.” I was startled by the fierceness within me. It even scared me a little.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by my protective reflex. We all try to protect ourselves and our loved ones from loss and pain, hoping to avoid it altogether, even though we know that’s impossible.
Life is hard.
Growing up, I saw the deep pain in my Dad’s life. Somehow, seeing it helped me love him. But his pain also made him distant. I felt his absence. And I resented him for it. It’s been hard to live with that pain, to not cover it up or deny it.
Thankfully, it awakened in me a desire for what is real and reliable. That’s how I met Jesus. His pain and suffering gave me room to acknowledge my own pain. It opened me up to something more. Something more real than the pain.
It was Jesus’ love that changed me.
And that’s what I see in Mary today as she watches her son’s body placed in a tomb. I see a grieving mother held by the love of her son — not just the love for her son, but the love of her son.
And It takes me back to Mary’s response to the Angel Gabriel before Jesus was born — “Let it be.”
Let it be that I will carry Emmanuel for 9 months, even under the shadow of suspicion.
Let it be that I will be the mother of The Savior.
Let it be that Jesus will offer himself in love and show us a new way to be human.
I imagine the “it” in Let it be, is the love of God at work in the world. I sense that same love is at work on Holy Saturday. When her faith is shattered, when all hope is lost, something remains. I believe it is love. And that, in my experience, is enough.
Perhaps that’s why I am in discernment for ordination with the Street Psalms Community. It is a community who occupies the spaces that others flee. We occupy the place of crippled faith and shattered hopes. Like Mary, we occupy that place in love. That’s enough.
Dwelling Among Us
Where is a place in your personal or communal life that you avoid because it’s too painful? Take a few minutes to write about it and then sit with what you’ve written, just like Mary sat outside death’s door. Listen for God’s voice in the silence. What would it look like for that pain to be transformed?