I haven’t thought of a title for this reflection. And the reality is, when I think about the gravity of what the resurrection means, I am reminded of just exactly how small I am in this universe, and how great the mercy of God actually is.
What I can tell you is that recently in my life, I have entered a new job in the helping profession that not only allows me to work with people who are considered the most vulnerable, but also exercise in a way my vocation in a deeper level, always being mindful that the practicing of principles is more important than the verbalizing of them. When I began, I told myself that in each situation with each person, I would need to remember that the person of Christ would be present, and that in serving each person, I would need to exercise the same courtesy, reverence, and respect as I would in serving Jesus Christ Himself.
I am now about to cross the three month point in working with the organization, and in practicing these principles I have found that I’m almost burnt out. Luckily for me, the people that employ me take a very pro-active and considerate approach to their employees. I’ve been told that I need to relax, take time for myself, and had it affirmed that this is in fact normal for people who are starting out in the helping profession: to put too much of their hearts into things and to learn the value of setting boundaries.
Christ didn’t have this opportunity.
The Passion, if we are to consider the resurrection, needs to be considered. In the moments before His death, it is said that Christ took on all the sins of the world, of all the ages. That agony, that suffering, compared to what I went through after just two months and just a couple of people, is insignificant. And yet, He was able to accept that pain, that anguish, that torment.
I forgot that in suffering, it is so important to remember to dedicate that pain we go through to a greater good, to ask it to be united with Christs.
This isn’t a large essay, it’s not a long commentary. It’s a simple reflection from a Franciscan brother in Canada who, upon thinking, sees that his own suffering is nothing in comparison to that of Christ’s. It’s a feeling of hope that, even in my darkest hour, or shadowy day, the light of Jesus will enter into my heart, guide me, protect me, nourish me, and encourage me to approach everything I do with the hope that is inspired by Christ’s resurrection.
To leave this commentary untitled is in my own way paying homage to the grandness of God’s plan, the meekness that I feel when I look upon it, and the absolute joy that I feel when I recognize that I not only have a part in it, but I’m recognized by God in the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of His Son.
Blessed Lent to all, Blessed Easter to all.
Pete MacNaughton professed his second year of vows as a member of the Order of Franciscans of the Annunciation of the Infinite Love of God, and is attending seminary within the Eucharistic Catholic Church, an Independent Gender and Sexually Diverse Affirming Catholic congregation based in Toronto, Canada. He lives and works in Regina, Saskatchewan and is an active member of the LGBTQ Pride movement.