By Geralyn Nathe-Evans
Member, St. Benedict Parish, Avon, and director of faith formation, St. Peter Parish and St. Paul Parish, St. Cloud
This station brings us to the clear reality of Jesus’ death. I pause each and every time I pray this station. The initial thought of death can seem so very final, so sad, so overwhelming with emotion.
Sometimes things end sadly and in ways we do not want them to, including life. Sometimes, like Jesus, we may feel defeated. We cannot always experience the life and events we desire or hope for in our lives.
We understand from accounts that Jesus endured great suffering both physically and emotionally in his final hours. I have often pondered the pain Jesus endured. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for us by his death. He was left with a few loved ones with him in the end. Many left.
Jesus cried out with the pain of being abandoned. Sometimes we, too, are abandoned by the people we love the most and whom we believe loved us as well. It can be a time of darkness and great emotional pain, a time of searching for meaning, a “dark night of the soul” of sorts. In recent years, I have felt great pain overcome me when praying this station.
I have felt the deep, gut-wrenching pain of loss, of holding the person I loved most in life as he took his last breaths. I have buried the person to whom my soul was united with in this life, my best friend and great partner in this life on earth. To witness my husband’s sudden departure from this earth (after two heroic cancer battles) is a pain I will never forget and I think of every day. To trust and find comfort in his eternal life, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, gives me comfort and hope.
When death comes, we cannot go back. Death is not merely the loss of earthly life. Death is encompassing of many losses. Loss leads us to grief. We may find ourselves on a journey of grief that only we can completely understand. The darkness may feel overwhelming and suffocating.
Death also provides us the challenge, promise and hope of rising to new life. Here is where I find the challenge: to live as an Easter person of hope and promise amidst, and despite, our story, despite the death of Good Friday.