This Palm Sunday, those powerful readings, range from super happy to super tragic! The First Reading starts with praising Jesus with palms as he enters Jerusalam, even calling out “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” It’s hard to believe how quickly something can go from amazing to terrible so quickly...
The hardest times in my life were similar to our readings today in that they started out so well! Matt and I discovered a couple of years ago that we were going to have another baby! Our fifth! Gosh, how we hoped it would be a girl, a sister for our only girl, Grace. All of you with sisters our there, you are blessed beyond measure. My four sisters are a huge gift to me.
Because this pregnancy was a surprise, we had a hard time wrapping our heads and hearts around another baby so soon after Grace was born, but God stretched our hearts like he does and we became very hopeful and excited about the baby! We started telling our friends and I even told the youth group here. We already knew what we would name the baby if it were indeed a girl. We would name her Hope.
It seemed that as quickly as this beautiful gift of life came into our lives and stretched our hearts, she was gone. Losing a child, no matter what age, is something I’d never wish on my worse enemy. We went to my first doctors appointment at 11 weeks gestation and could not find Hope’s heartbeat. Upon an ultrasound, it was confirmed that we lost a child for the second time. We lost a baby whom we named Matty just two years prior).
We lost Hope during the first week of Advent that year, the week of Hope. We know that God planned this-that Hope will always live on! I think telling people was the hardest part. And after telling my teens in the youth group, they all crowded around me and Deacon bill led us in a praying for our healing. It was so beautiful.
Everyone has probably experienced suffering and loss. And maybe even you have suffered this loss shortly after experiencing such a blessing or gift! If you have, I am sorry from the bottom of my heart.
But in the name of my child in heaven, Hope is not lost. Hope lives on! This is what we are preparing for! You see this Sunday we will remember Christ’s Passion, suffering and death. But next Sunday, we see that that’s not the ending God has in mind for us!
Death does not win! Suffering does not win! Good wins, joy wins! LIFE WINS! Look around you. WE are a resurrection people! Christ’s death and resurrections means that we are assured of hope for something better! We are assured eternal joy in heaven! The battle has been fought and WON for us!
My challenge for you this week is to prepare. Lift your sufferings (past present and future) to our Lord this week and prepare Him to resurrect them on Easter Sunday. And if you need a little help doing this, I have an in with two saints in heaven who I assume are in our Lady’s arms right now, Baby Matty and Baby Hope.
Have a blessed Holy Week my friends!
Word up. I am Stacy, the youth minister of this amazing group of teens. I have 4 kids of my own, 2 heaven babies and like 60 teens I consider very large children of my own.