Earlier this week, like many of you, I had my first real foray into homeschooling. My day was very Palm Sunday-ish in that it started off strong and quickly deteriorated. I didn’t make a triumphal procession into the homeschooling room, but I had prepped and planned for several hours and my kiddos were pretty excited to begin working. We even got started early!
But like Palm Sunday, things went downhill fast.
It started off with the kids bothering each other, and progressed to one of them calling me names, which ended with a big timeout and chores for the worst offender. There were moments when I could see where Isaiah was coming from when he wrote:
“I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).
I jest…sort of.
My life is privileged, and what I face from my children isn’t anything like true suffering. But it’s hard when we pour ourselves out for the sake of our children, and it gets thrown back in our faces. It wears a mama down.
But, whenever I have those “no one appreciates me around here” thoughts, I think of the stiff-necked Israelites who kept turning away from God. And this week, I think of Jesus…
“Who humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).
And this gives me some perspective. How often am I stiff-necked? How often am I the one for whom Jesus pours himself out without a word of thanks? How often do I fail to show him my love and appreciation?
This week begins Passiontide. And although we, at various levels, have already been drawn into Lent more acutely this year, I hope that we can find a way to give it our all this week.
Haven’t prayed the Rosary in a while? This is your week!
Haven’t been able to kick that bad habit? This is your week!
Never made it to Stations of the Cross? This is your week (at home of course)!
Need to detach from life’s amenities? This is your week!
If we can take this time of quarantine to enter into the mystery of Christ’s passion in a deeper way, I pray that when Lent is over – even from the confines of our home, even without the physical Eucharist – Easter will feel triumphant.
I pray that if we can follow him into his passion, he will raise us up next weekend along with him, and we will triumphantly proclaim, with St. Paul:
“God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2: 9-11).