Literary Issue: Reflection by Theresa Pihl
He was only twenty, the same age as my daughter. Memories in this church transpose. Then, he wore an altar server’s cassock, white over red, spirit and fire. We prayed the rosary; he fidgeted, never still. “Pray for us now and at the hour of our death,” we said.
Now, I look past his casket and fix my gaze on the tabernacle. Candles stand sentinel on either side, flames flickering life. For hope, we are praying the Joyful Mysteries: Mary saying ‘Yes’ to becoming a mother. Did she and Elizabeth know their sons would one day be brutally murdered? Mary, veiled, awaits Joseph as he seeks lodging and comforts him when he cannot. Obedient, they present their child to God in the Temple. Later, they worry he is lost, but he is not. He is in His Father’s House.
I see it then, hidden in plain sight: the Pascal candle, a promise, burns steady and strong. Joseph’s white draped casket is the tabernacle. His veiled mother is Mary beneath the cross. Water is poured into wine, and we pray, “May we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”