Sarah Ault, CVV 18
Well friends, we have somehow made it to the end of Lent. As I sit here to write a reflection on Holy Week, I cannot help but be struck by the parallels between the Triduum and our year of service. I am especially struck by how Jesus’ praised journey into Jerusalem and subsequent crucifixion by those same humans plays out in our world today so often.
I am currently a full-time graduate student pursuing an MBA and Master of Science in International Business. Recently, I was featured in a publication for our school and talked about my year at CVV and how it has influenced me to pursue my degrees. A surprising number of people (surprising because I had no idea that many people actually read their school emails) congratulated me for the piece, particularly highlighting how interesting my service year was and how proud they were that I did this. This praise is something I know we can all relate to—I remember countless times during and after my year of service that people would praise me for what I was doing and thank me for the hard work…sound like Jesus and his palm frond red carpet?
The struggle for me comes from some of these same individuals who were so proud of my working with people on the margins turn around and support policies and post things on social media and etc, etc, etc, that do they exact opposite (in my not-so-humble-opinion) of what my year of service tried to accomplish. I hear these classmates in class talk about supporting policies that defund crucial services for people on the margins; I watch people on social media praise budget cuts and initiatives that continue the cycle of oppression. And, in all of this, I cannot help but see Christ crucified again and again by the same people who claim to love Him.
The possible worst part about it is that Jesus’ example to us on how to respond is so counter intuitive! Just as the Jews were awaiting a militarized champion who would tear down the Roman empire, am I not tempted to look for the same thing? My visceral response is to get angry and say something (which, certainly, has its place); but the message Jesus leaves us is to continue to serve others and to speak the truth in love. It’s this “in love” part that is so hard for me; I often just want to tell people they are being dumb and that I don’t have time for that. But I am challenged by the gospel to be Christ to others; to speak to them in a way that they would understand and to love them when they fall short (as I ask so many people to do for me!)
The good news? The Good News! Holy Week doesn’t end on Good Friday, and neither will our continued battle for those on the margins. Jesus triumphantly defeats death! Good wins over evil! This is the ending I have to remind myself when the trenches are filled with dirty words and human hardness. The Resurrection is our promise that if we keep fighting the good fight, we will triumph! Maybe not in our lifetimes, but in the end. I leave you with Galatians 6:9 “Do not grow weary in doing what is good, for in due time you will reap a harvest IF YOU DO NOT GIVE UP.” Jesus did not give up on his journey to Jerusalem or in the garden or on the cross and neither should we!