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.