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Season redeemed in the homestretch

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

April 24, 2019

In hindsight, it feels like a rookie mistake.

I fell into the trap of feeling like I had to do it all this Lent and Holy Week in order to make it “really count.” I had every parish mission date, study group, adoration time, service opportunity, penance service and special event on my calendar.

Nearly every day, the calendar in my iPhone looked like a Lego tower, with colored blocks signifying each event or appointment stacked one on top of the other.

By the third week or so, I was wearing out. My participation in most events and times that were supposed to be dedicated to prayer was half-hearted. I was well intentioned, but I was either too tired to meaningfully participate or distracted by the to-do list racing through my brain.

By last week, Holy Week, I was just ready for it to all be over. It’s sad to feel a sense of dread at the holiest week of the year, but that’s where I found myself. I knew my schedule was going to be even more crowded than it had been in the previous weeks. I knew I still needed to prepare for Easter festivities with my family.

By Holy Thursday, I was thinking, “if I hadn’t signed up to lector, I could just stay home tonight and relax. I just don’t feel like doing this.”

Late that morning, my phone rang. Someone close to me, someone who works with a population that can’t easily travel, asked if I had any suggestions on how a Good Friday event of some type could be planned for the people in her care with only a day of notice.

Not finding anyone else interested in taking the assignment, two friends and I agreed to conduct a simple service – reading the Passion narrative and a couple reflections – with those people who would otherwise not get to attend a service. I’ll admit it, I was a bit annoyed to have one more thing added to my calendar.

At the appointed time, we conducted our simple prayer service. The people we prayed with were engaged and moved praying about our Lord’s suffering and dying. We were moved. As my friends and I concluded, we were inundated with participants thanking us for bringing Good Friday to them. They were so grateful for the opportunity to worship our Lord in community.

They were grateful for that which I was taking for granted. While I was grumbling about having too much to do, they shed tears for the opportunity to do just a little.

It was humbling, and it taught me more than all the events on my calendar combined.

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