Our Lord is locked up in a cell underground. I imagine him standing, wrists tied tight and connected to the ceiling in some form or fashion. It’s musty and even though he is sweating, there is a damp coldness to the floor his bare feet stand on. He wants to sleep, but can’t. Maybe he cries or even weeps sobs of deep unfathomable sorrow. The Apostles, those who followed him, ate with him, traveled with him, spoke with him, heard him preach the Good News, they are hidden in the upper room, scared.
We, along with them, have abandoned Him.
What would that feel like? To be facing the most horrific death of all time and to have been left and betrayed by friends? I imagine he was feeling anguish that night awaiting his fate, but this was just the beginning of his broken, busted and beaten up Sacred Heart. The perfect love flowed from that heart and yet, it is destroyed over and over again by us leaving him, just as the apostles did.
On Holy Thursday, the Church celebrates a Mass commemorating the Last Supper.
This Mass is so sacred and so precious because as it ends the tabernacle is left empty. We are lead to what is called “the altar of repose.” Jesus is no longer with us that night, but he is locked up in his cell, awaiting his torture and crucifixion. As the people of God, we are welcomed to remain and pray that night before the altar of repose, and this is one of my most favorite moments of the liturgical year.
I can sit with him and comfort Him, and I can remember how he washed the apostles feet just hours before they abandoned him.
How have I left you, Lord? How can I sit with you longer to ease your aching heart?
We do not know the whole story of that evening as Our Lord awaited death in a cell all on his own. Some mystics say that the angels came to minister to him as they did while he was in the desert for 40 days. All I do know is that He waits for us there, on Holy Thursday.
He waits for me. He waits for you. He longs for us to accompany Him.