Today I have been thinking quite a bit about death. It's rather a scary thought, isn't it? For me it means separation from my children. Who would care for them? Who would remind them of my love for them? Who would give them snuggles and kisses? No, the thought of leaving my children is terrifying. But I think there is something deeper than that. Death is the ultimate loss of control. Death reminds us that we are not the masters of our bodies or our destinies.
Jesus died. Jesus died in the most cruel, humiliating, painful way the Roman Empire could devise. He was beaten, stripped, and put on display for all to see. Every groan, every bodily function was open to ridicule. And then he was hastily shut away in a tomb so the living could observe a religious holiday. His loved ones would have to finish preparing his body for final burial until after he had become putrid. So He lay in the tomb until...
Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We all know the story of the resurrection; Jesus conquered death. What happened in that tomb? How was Jesus' body transformed from a frail, human body to a resurrected, heavenly body? We won't know until we get there. But the message is clear: we need not fear death. And whatever happened in that tomb was done by God.
I believe that motherhood is the path of small-deaths. Every day we put our own hopes and desires on hold so that we can care for our families. It becomes so entrenched in our beings that we forget to dream. (Don't get me started on lack of sleep.) Sometimes we have a vague sense that we are losing our way but what can we do? Most of the time we're lucky to get through the day.
Ladies, we need to enter the tomb. We need to lie there in the dark and quiet and do absolutely nothing. We need to let God do His work. It need not be scary; Jesus has been there. Let it be the one time of the day when you don't have to prove yourself to anybody. You don't have to defend yourself. You don't have to say a dozen rosaries to prepare. You don't have to change a diaper or worry about the dishes in the sink. You don't have to deal with the bully at school. Nothing. Just you and God. And God is doing all the work. God is taking the responsibility. God is drying the tears after our tantrums and scraped knees. God is taking those small deaths and making them into something new. All you have to do is show up and just be... accepted. Loved. Cherished. Forgiven. Transformed. We need to practice saying 'yes' to God in preparation for our own death.