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The Heroic Minute Challenge: Day 6: The Joy Comes With the Morning

I often wonder what it must have been like for the Blessed Mother and the Apostles to wake up on Holy Saturday morning consumed with an overwhelming feeling of loss, hopelessness and fear. What were they thinking that day? How did they even get through it? The shock of all they had witnessed and experienced during that roller coaster of a week must have been impossible for them to even process. I imagine that their day was spent sitting in each other's company in an agonizing, painful silence. 

My beloved Grandmother passed away three years ago while my family and I were on a cruise vacation. I can still remember the feeling I had waking up the day after I was told the news. I opened my eyes for a split second and all was right with the world and then - WHAMMO - I felt like I had been slammed by a giant wave of grief and sadness that I didn't see coming. Anyone who has experienced a death of a close friend or relative, or has been the recipient of a bad medical report, or has lost a job probably can relate to that sick feeling, when the reality of the situation kicks in, first thing in the morning.

The struggles of living out the Heroic Minute on an average, ordinary day pale in comparison to the first moments of the morning on a day filled with anguish and sorrow. Such days require a special kind of "heroisim" not merely to get up in the morning, but to live out every minute of the day. The days following my Grandmother's passing, which we spent finishing out our vacation, were surreal. My family and I all felt like we were in a strange "holding pattern" just waiting for vacation to end so that  we could return home to celebrate my Grandmother's Funeral Mass. I imagine that the first Holy Saturday too was a day of waiting and wondering, of thinking about life and death and what it all meant.

The Good News that Jesus came to bring is that there is Resurrection after death and joy after mourning. The sun will indeed rise again to dispel the darkness and gloom and there will be a day in the future when we will once more greet the morning with gladness. During dark times in our life, when simply living each minute of the day takes great heroism, it is comforting to meditate on the beauty and wonder of the first Easter morning, when Mary Magdalene was greeted with an empty tomb and encounter with the Risen and Glorified Jesus.

As we rejoice in both the struggles and victories of living out the Heroic Minute this morning, let us remember in prayer those who are facing a morning of pain and sorrow and ask for the Risen Lord Jesus to be their comfort and strength.

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