One of the few memories I have of both of my grandfathers is of their reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. When we would drive past a Catholic Church, my dad’s dad would always tip his hat (I love that he wore hats) and my mother’s father would inevitably cross himself.
I can remember my older brother asking why once, and hearing my dad’s dad say, “It’s because He’s in there, in the tabernacle.” I recall looking at the church and wondering who could be in there that was so important that my grandfather would slow down and say hello to someone he couldn’t even see from the street.
As I got older, and lost my paternal grandfather, it was only my mom’s father who slowed down to say “Hello.” I loved him and wanted to make him proud, so I would cross myself too. He would nod in approval and smile at me when I joined him in this small show of respect.
I’ll always remember the Good Friday when we drove by St Elizabeth’s Church. As my hand rose to my forehead, Grandpa’s gentle hand reached out to stop me. “Not today,” he told me. “Today he’s not there. The tabernacle is empty and the whole world is a little sadder to not have Him in it.”
That’s where my brain is this morning…in that big boat of a car with my grandfather as his eyes welled up and he fought back his sadness. His mournful voice said, “Today He’s in the tomb and we are alone.”
My mind keeps drifting to the empty tabernacles all over the world with their doors standing open, filled only with the silence of the grave. How ready we will be for Easter to arrive when we can again bask in his glorious presence.
Photo – By Nheyob (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rebeccafrech/2015/04/without-him-a-good-friday-reflection.html#mj9DX0wkAF2HO1Ph.99
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