By Emily Millan
Afraid. Alone. Empty. Confused. Scared. Isolated.
These words have become almost synonymous with COVID-19.
Every person around the world is feeling a myriad mixture of emotions regarding this pandemic. People are experiencing death. The whole world has become shut into their own homes. And at the heart of it all, most people are feeling a sense of despair. Uncertainty. A fear of the unknown.
I’m going to be so bold to say that we are absolutely blessed to be feeling this.
This Easter Triduum, we are being given the glorious (perhaps once-in-a-lifetime) opportunity to fully immerse ourselves and insert ourselves personally into the Passion story.
Allow me to take you back in time.
We know the story of the Passion. We know the beautifully painful story of how our Lord bore all of our iniquities. Of how He took upon Himself every wound we would ever commit and suffer. Of how He lovingly embraced His cross so that we would be able to embrace Him. Of how the darkest day in salvation history gave way to the greatest and most glorious day for all humanity.
But imagine being there, in the midst of it all, as one of His disciples. At the Last Supper. In the garden. In the courtyard with Pontius Pilate. Along the road to Calvary. At the foot of the cross as He breathed His last. Laying His body in the tomb. Rolling the stone in front of it, sealing Him within – along with your hopes, dreams, and joy.
It would have been the most emotionally confusing and despairing 24 hours of your life.
“The whole thing happened so fast.”
“I was not prepared.”
“Why did this happen?”
“I did not see this coming.”
“What am I going to do?”
“I don’t understand.”
“So much pain, so much death.”
Afraid. Alone. Confused. Empty. Scared. Isolated.
Welcome to the tomb.
My tomb is my house. I’m currently sealed up inside with my family. My extroverted heart is feeling a little lifeless without other human contact. I feel like I am slowly withering away without the physical ability to receive the Sacraments or to encounter Jesus fully in the Eucharist. The world outside is in disarray. There is an uncertainty about the economy and job security. There is an underlying fear in every human action. And we are all holed up in our homes, waiting out this pandemic.
It’s easy to lose hope in the tomb. Just like the disciples – we can be focused on the sorrow, the trepidation, the isolation. We can fixate on the fear.
And we can totally forget that Jesus explicitly told us that He has the victory already.
Death is conquered.
Fear is overcome.
Darkness is shattered.
Isolation is defeated.
Anxiety is crushed.
COVID-19 HAS ALREADY LOST.
So, let us dive into this privileged isolated time of the Easter Triduum and bring our Easter story to life amidst this pandemic.
We were not made for the tomb. We were made to be a people of joy, of love, of freedom, of life. This right now is our tomb-time. The marvelous opportunity to rest with our Lord here, and brim with joyful anticipation for the stone to be rolled away.
Welcome to the tomb, my friends.
We won’t be here for long.