Becoming Holy

Jesus Grieves

on August 5, 2014

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Last weekend, we found ourselves in White Bird, Idaho, attending weekend Mass.  Fr. Mariusz has a knack of making me cry during his homilies.  This time is no different.  He begins with the Gospel reading from Matthew, Chapter 14:13-21. 

 

“When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.”

 

This is the first point emphasized~Jesus grieved.  Jesus was burdened at the news of his cousin’s death.  He wanted to grieve.  He left the crowds and got into the boat to be alone.  However, this was not to be.  The Gospel continues:

 

“The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.”

 

The stage is now set for what will soon become the Feeding of the Five Thousand~a story most of us are familiar with.  We remember how Jesus took the five loaves and two fish and multiplied them to feed five thousand men ~my apologies to the women and children~and how there were 12 wicker baskets of fragments left over.  On this day, Fr. Mariusz is calling our attention, not to the miracle, but to the fact that Jesus was grieving.  He was sad.  He crossed the Sea to be alone. This is not to be.  The people need Jesus and they get to the other side before He does.  He puts aside his grief and begins to minister to them.

 

At this point, I am aware of God’s powerful message for me. We were sent to White Bird on this day for my heart to be opened.  I had never focused on the opening to this Gospel.  Somehow, for years, I had managed to skim over the death of John the Baptist leading up to the story of the Miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand.  Not today.  Today, God wanted to remind me that grief is not supposed to come first.  People come first.

 

Yesterday~two days after this revelation~marks the day we should have welcomed a new baby into our family.  This past November, we were delighted with the news that a new little baby was on the way.  I actually was feeling reasonably well~just enough morning sickness to not be worried, but not as much as usual.  We joked about being “Abraham and Sarah” and rejoiced at the thought of another little life being entrusted to us.  It was also a magical time as we awaited both the coming of Christmas and Jordan’s first home visit from the convent.  Sadly, a few days before Christmas, we shared with our children that a baby had come and gone without their knowing. Jordan’s first day home included a sweet memorial service by Fr. Paul to bless and bury our baby.

 

 

Mom 669                                                    Mom 675

 

 

 

With each of our miscarriages, I am emotionally stuck until I make it through the due date.  All day yesterday, I expected the day to be different~to be significant.  But it was an ordinary day.  The girls got to go harvesting~riding in combines and grain trucks with their cousin, Kayla.  This was followed by more cousin time back at our house.  My sister and her beautiful girls came out in the afternoon. There were squirt gun fights and lots of giggles.  Choir practice followed.  Prince Charming barbecued steak and the evening ended with movie night with more cousins.  

At some point in the evening, I realized that Sunday’s homily was meant for me.  I wanted to grieve. I kept trying to get in the boat and go someplace alone.  But when I arrived at the shore, there were people to feed and laundry to do.  It just wasn’t supposed to be all about me.  Like Jesus, I was called to take pity on the people and minister to them!  I was considering wrapping up the day with a big case of the “poor me’s” but the Holy Spirit stepped in and reminded me of Jesus’ grief. 

This compelled me to revisit Matthew’s Gospel and continue reading.  After the miracle, once all the fragments were gathered, Jesus dismissed the disciples and had them get on the boat without Him. Next, He dismissed the people. He, then, finally, went to the mountain alone to pray.  

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4 responses to “Jesus Grieves

  1. Amanda says:

    Thank you for this.

  2. Megan says:

    Love you my friend. You are so rich in heaven.

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