I stayed for adoration afterward. The altar is stripped tonight and the Blessed Sacrament is moved from the main altar to the “altar of repose”. The tabernacle door is left open, exposing the emptiness within. On this night Judas has betrayed his Savior and the guards have come with clubs and swords and spears, rope and chains to bind and drag good, gentle Jesus away. Mass ends, His Passion begins.
Most of the congregation stays a few minutes, then people clear out. Only a handful of disciples remain with Him. The air conditioner is on high. Incense hangs heavy in the air. I’m shivering and my lungs are screaming for me to get out of there. But I don’t. I stay. Just a little longer, a little more. I look at my Lord installed on His Throne in His Kingdom, hanging on the Cross, nothing but a simple cloth around him, arms spread wide, vulnerable, not complaining, not afraid for Himself.
I stay. Just a little while, a little longer. My lungs grow calmer, calm. The cold bothers me less. I feel it but I feel His eyes on me, making my suffering seem like nothing, nothing to bother about.
And I think to myself, to Him: If all this isn’t true, then nothing matters. If all this is true…
Nothing else matters.
I hope you find some time during this most holy time to spend some quiet moments with the Lord, listening, keeping Him company. I hope He blesses you the way He has blessed me. I pray that He will grant you grace and graces. Peace be with you, the peace of Christ be to you, now, today. Always. Amen.