Friday, April 10, 2009

Am I Worth It?

Okay. I'm humbled now. After my little outrage at the guy I didn't like this morning, Jesus reached out from the cross to humble me.

The Catholic church has services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday prior to Easter. I was asked to read scripture for our Good Friday service which includes Veneration of the Cross.

For veneration, the church assembles as if for communion, and each individual stops to touch, or to kiss the cross in reflection of what Jesus' sacrifice means to them.
It's interesting to watch people. Some seem timid and just touch the cross and then cross themselves. Some reach out and embrace the cross (ours is a very large, almost life-sized cross) and plant a kiss. Some genuflect, touch the cross and move on.

I saw a teen aged girl approach the cross, wearing a t-shirt with the words, "When He was on the cross, you were on His mind." emblazoned across the back.

Veneration takes longer than Communion, because the two lines are served with just destination.
At last, the final person approached the cross. It was a young man with Down Syndrome, who I recognize as he and his parents sit within a pew of me every Sunday. He's a sweet young man who loves to sing at Mass and was thrilled to finally serve as an altar boy last year.

When he approached the cross, he reached both hands to the arms of the cross, in a sort of tender embrace. As if tenderly touching a dear friend in need. His head bowed - a heavy realization evident. It was the most beautiful connection of all the people I watched tonight. (I know I should have been praying myself) I thought to myself. He really gets it.

I was so touched by the intimate understanding displayed by this young man who I view as such an innocent. I smiled inwardly and contemplated the message.

Then he sat in the pew behind me - and started to sob.

Each year Easter is a little different for me. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the sacrifice. Some years I really get it. This year, I'm a little self-absorbed, I admit. Constantly questioning why God doesn't bless me with the basics of marriage and family or at least a full-time job.
With that attitude - am I worth it? Am I worthy of Christ's great sacrifice? I know He thinks so. But I'd better start acting like it.


Krissie said...

Thanks for the challenge today. I needed to hear those words.

Anonymous said...

i also tried to focus at church today. at some point when talking about how Jesus radically loved and saved her life, the pastor's wife shared how God blessed her with "the best" - her husband of now almost 40 years - though she only wanted Him so much she thought she would never want a 'man' and told the Lord so, and tried to resist her husband when she first met him. ...they beam at each other sunday after sunday and its so real what they have. she stopped long enough to say that God will bless you with His best for you, not even second best. i had the opportunity to squeam and feel worst or to be encouraged and i chose to be encouraged. it was a hope-filled word for me. i realize i just have to keep on choosing to trust God who does love me. none of His gifts depend on my worthiness, but many times on my obedience.

Stacey said...

Very, very sweet.

I know I personally get a bit wrapped up in what I think I deserve and how unfair everything is. I constantly have to remind myself of God's amazing grace toward all of us.

(Is it bad that I'm still glad you had words with the snotty tax guy?)

Heidi said...

Thank you for sharing that. I've spent the last week or so contemplating the meaning of Christ's sacrifice and the overwhelming implications for me personally. You're right--"I'd better start acting like it". It's good to have reminders because it's sure hard to remember!