UP FOR DISCUSSION … For Christians, another Holy Week has come and now is almost gone. Has it been sad and reflective, or is it full of promise for what our futures hold? Or both? Caregivers might look at this week very differently, but isn’t Easter week all about focusing on the reasons for sacrifice?

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Holy Week has always been an emotional time for me.  Even in the days of planning a weekend full of family visits or Spring Break travel, I spent a lot of time in church marking the remembrances of Jesus Christ’s last days on earth.  In my earlier days it might have been special masses and the Stations of the Cross; more recently it has been Maundy Thursday vigils and Good Friday Tenebrae-like readings of His last hours as one-by-one the lights are extinguished.  Dark, solemn, and sad – for many years now there is a constancy of emotion during the week that ultimately gives way to a wonderful recognition that this incredible story does not end there.

On Easter morning we arise to the news of the resurrection with that same constancy of promise for everyone who believes in it: Christ died for us!  With His death and resurrection came the promise of eternal life.  Life after death in Heaven with our Father and His Son!  Among the Easter flowers, and bonnets, and baskets, and Peeps, the week of heavy is replaced with an overwhelming sense of rebirth and hope!  Even now, with no plans to celebrate Easter with anyone other than my loved one, this caregiver has such hope for our future and what God has planned for each of us.  The miracle of Easter allows Christians worldwide to better understand why Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and how we can possibly look at that Friday as “Good”.  It also allows me a stronger belief that our world does not end with suffering, tough challenges, and loss, but rather with the faithful promise of John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  This life as we know it now, too, shall pass.

In Florida, we are usually even gifted with bright sunshine and blooming color everywhere on Easter morning.  We’ll gather, sing hymns of wonder and joy, maybe watch the sun rise, and repeat the Hebrew word Hallelujah – “praise the Lord” – over and over!  Easter is a time for celebration and gratitude, but somehow it begins with a heavy sadness that makes me think about the sacrifices we are often called to make for one another.  Those sacrifices need to be recognized as a necessary part of this process of rebirth and renewed hope for transitioning to a better life.  Caregivers can understand, I think.  Hallelujah!



UP FOR DISCUSSION:  How about you?  What does Holy Week mean to you, and does the dawning of Easter Sunday restore your hope for the future?  Does your faith in something more encourage you to continue your caregiver journey?  Please share your comments below.

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