Sunday, April 5, 2009
Passion Sunday and the Child
This past Tuesday, Miriam announced, "I have to go to Mass today." Tuesday is not a good Mass day for our house. Between ballet lessons, laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning, Mass just doesn't happen. But she was insistent and even a little frantic: "I have to go to Mass."
And so I compromised. "We can stop by the Adoration chapel on the way to the library," I suggested. "You can bring him some of your flowers."
She made up a little green vase with her carnations left over from the Annunciation. She was very serious.
We walked into the Adoration chapel, Isabella gabbing and burbling, Miriam solemn-faced. I sat in the back with the baby while Miriam approached the altar and put the flowers down. Then she turned and whispered loudly, much to the amusement of the elderly woman next her, "MOM! I HAVE TO SIT HERE ALONE AND PRAY BY MYSELF!!!!"
I nodded, "Okay."
She turned and sat and, still talking in her loud whisper, "JESUS! I'M SO SORRY FOR HURTING YOU. I HOPE YOU LIKE YOUR FLOWERS. I TRUST IN YOU, AMEN!" Then she bounced out of her pew and ran back to me. Out we went through the doors, Isabella still burbling and waving bye-bye.
"What was that, Miriam?" I asked
"That was my little confession. Because you and Daddy go to Big Confession, and I can't go there because I'm a girl, so I have to have my little confession."
I'll admit it did cross my mind to assure her that she has never hurt Jesus, explain that she's not of the "age of reason." But I didn't. If she wants to offer him flowers and her sadness, then she needs to respond to that desire in her own heart.
I've been thinking a lot about our need for Christ's death and passion, for those six hours he hung in agony. All creation needed those hours, not just the adult, rational sinners. "All creation is groaning in expectation for the revelation of the sons of God." Miriam, in her little 3-year-old innocence is part of that creation. She wanted to "groan in expectation" before the altar. So she brought him flowers and her little heart.
May we all rush to reconciliation with such determination this week. May we all thirst for his body and blood this week. All of creation is waiting. Come, Lord Jesus, to your Cross and your glory.