“Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” // John 18:37
The sound of my alarm at 2 a.m. hit me like a train.
I slowly rolled over in the volunteer bed at the Missionaries of Charity hospice and rubbed my eyes. The intense warmth of radiator heat made it a little easier to push back the covers, slide out of bed, and tiptoe toward the resident rooms where a number of women lay asleep. As my eyes adjusted to their darkened room, I could make out each in her bed. One mumbled in her sleep in Spanish. Another clutched her purse tightly under the covers. Still another who had Alzheimers was awake and lost deep in a memory from her past.
Quietly I checked on each of them, changing the undergarments of those who needed it and smoothing the wrinkles in their bedsheets. Saint Teresa of Calcutta would often remark that she and her Missionary of Charity sisters served Jesus in the “most distressing disguise” of the poor. When we bind up the wound of someone who is suffering, feed the one who can no longer feed herself, or hold vigil in the last moments of life—even when it is uncomfortable—we are serving Jesus.
The distress I would feel at times in serving those in hospice is similar to the way my heart feels today on Good Friday. I’m ashamed of Judas. Embarrassed by Simon Peter. Aghast at those casting lots for our Lord’s garments. I cringe at my own spoken words of “Crucify him!” even though I know my own very real sins wound Christ today.
Good Friday is distressing.
And yet, it is good that we are here in this place of the Triduum. It is good to remind our forgetful selves of our Lord’s Passion. It is good to spend time in adoration of the Cross, remembering that He died for you, for me, for those in hospice with their untold pasts, for all of us. Let us stand vigil at the Cross today and allow Him to speak truth to our hearts.It is good that we are here. // Karen Schultz Click To Tweet