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All Good Things
March 25, 2024

Roll Away the Stone

During Lent, we are continually invited to enter into the Lord’s passion, to walk with Him from Gethsemane to Calvary, as we contemplate the infinite depths of His merciful love. Through weekly fasting, reflecting on Christ’s seven last words, and participating in Stations of the Cross, we prayerfully place ourselves in the narratives that round out the Gospels. Perhaps you imagine yourself as Mary Magdalene, sitting at the foot of the cross, or Veronica, wiping the battered face of Jesus. Or perhaps you ponder what it was like to help Jesus carry the cross, as Simon did, or to prepare the Lord’s body for burial like Nicodemus. We are called, during this season, to spiritually enter into the Lord’s suffering. But do we let Him into ours?

As Catholics we are often taught that it is in our suffering that we draw closest to Jesus, because He shares our human nature, but how many of us push Him away when we are hurting? How many times are we tricked into believing that we need to be perfect before we can approach our God? This lie, like many others, breaks the Father’s heart. Jesus is not ashamed of our brokenness. He is not embarrassed. He is not afraid of the mess. In fact, He rejoices to dwell with us there. The Divine Healer wishes to nurse us back to health if we allow Him to take up residence in our wounded and tender hearts.

As much as this season is about entering into the Lord’s suffering, I would like to propose that it is also an invitation to let the Lord into ours. Do we let God shine the light in the dark parts of our soul, or are we afraid? Do we hold onto sins, perhaps for decades, that we have rationalized to ourselves over time? Do we withhold forgiveness from our neighbor? Do we say hurtful things to or about people that we love?

When we remain in shame and grovel in the darkness, we are relegating ourselves to the tomb. Our slavery to sin convinces us that we were made for the tomb, when in fact, we are made for the glorious resurrection. Our Savior, the Paschal Lamb, was so unafraid of the darkness that He endured death, three days in the grave, and a visit to Hell to free the captives. If Jesus is willing to endure this, so that we may rise with Him to new life in Heaven, then who are we to decide to remain in the shadows of the cave, drowning in our sorrows? For we believe that when the light shines in the darkness, the darkness cannot overcome it.

Let us not make idols of ourselves or remain in the darkness. Let our God, who is Love, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Himself, roll away the stone from your tomb, love you into the light, and free you from the shackles of your sins, so that the darkness may not hold you captive anymore. Unburden yourself to Him, who bore the burdens of the world. Run to Him, whose arms are open wide. He will stop at nothing to bring us home; He will stop at nothing until we are free. Are you ready to be free?

Riley Lochhead, M.A.
Campus Minister, Office of Mission and Equity
Hilbert College

Easter Morning

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