Journeying Together is a weekly series of Lenten reflections. Each Monday during Lent, a student or adult from the Prep community will share a reflection, which will be archived here. Our sixth reflection comes from Nathaniel Jablonski, ’21.

Matthew 27:11-54

We humans are very social. We thrive when there are physical and emotional connections. In these past few weeks, we have been unable to see, talk, or visit one another because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have turned to the internet for classes, entertainment, and human connection because we are unable to be there in person. It has been weird, not being at Prep. I miss the classrooms, getting lunch with my friends, and taking the PATH home. However, I have used this time away from school to reflect on my past actions, beliefs, and thoughts. I know that I have a better understanding of my faith now because of social distancing. 

I consider myself to be a devout Catholic. I pray often and I actively participate in the Mass. On Palm Sunday, I was asked to serve for my church’s livestream Mass. It was odd serving in an empty church with only a handful of ministers and essential participants responding to the priest.  However, during the homily, I made a connection between Jesus, his suffering, and people. 

We read in the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus was condemned to death for our sins. He prayed in the garden for his father to save him, fully aware of what was going to happen. Jesus could have left the garden and fled, saving himself from great pain, humiliation, and suffering. But he didn’t. He stayed in the garden and prayed. When he was arrested and brought to Pilate, Jesus was committed to God, and while suffering humiliation and pain, stayed loyal to Him. 

My church’s pastor, Revered Fr. Joseph Mancini, said that we are like the disciples in this weekend’s Gospel. “We have no trouble being with Jesus when there is peace, but when there is suffering, we flee.” Later in his homily, Fr. Joe said, “There can be no Easter without Good Friday.” 

I find this very meaningful, especially today. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus’ last words are “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” For the past couple of weeks, we may have felt abandoned and lonely, but we must not flee from God. We have a special opportunity to become closer to God through family, prayer, and reflection. We can spend time with family that we may not see because of our busy lives. We can pray and reflect during Holy Week. Finally, we can become better people by reflecting on our actions. 

Someone close to me once said, “We all have a cross to bear in life.” We must realize that God has not abandoned us, but rather, is with us, encouraging people to make the best of a bad situation. We have a decision to make; abandon him like the disciples in Gethsemane or, we can stay with God through the suffering. oremus pro invicem

Nathaniel Jablonski, ’21

You can find all of our weekly Journeying Together reflections here.

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