by Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN
Pax Christi USA Program Director
By early evening on Friday, not knowing of anywhere else to go, we all trudged our way back to the upper room. We were stunned, disoriented, exhausted and terrified. The depth of our sadness was beyond belief and palpable.
Attempts at conversation ended in loud, angry arguments, attacking each other on how we had not seen this coming, while others insisted that Jesus had predicted his death by insisting we go to Jerusalem and that he had prepared us all along for this event and what we were to expect
- “I go to prepare a place for you.”
- “I will be with you always, even to the end of time.”
- “I will send you the Spirit who will instruct you in everything and remind you of all what I told you.”
These words felt empty now, devoid of hope, they were promises that we were naïve and gullible enough to believe. So much for the ‘coming of the kindom’ that Jesus promised. That wasn’t going to happen.
Some of us sat in solitude lost in thoughts while overwhelming feelings washed over us. None of us could absorb and grasp the brutal torture, unfair trial and ultimate execution we had witnessed and what made it worse was that it was our friend. This meant the end of everything we had dreamed and hoped for with him.
None of us really slept soundly that night, tossing and turning and reliving the nightmare we had witnessed. Some of us yelled and cried in our sleep while others of us just sat up all night staring into nothingness. Each one of us was re-living in our minds our relationship with Jesus, both individually and as a group struggling to make sense of how it all could have all gone so wrong.
In the morning, the crowds are still thick in the city, people preparing to return to their homes after the Passover Festival, so it’s noisy outside. Where are we supposed to go from here? What are we supposed to do? It’s a known fact in Jerusalem that we were friends of Jesus, and that alone will make us suspicious characters to those who tried and found Jesus guilty. We were guilty by association.
How could we have been so stupid and blind…following him like we did…believing in what he said…watching him heal and doing those miracles…what good was all of that? All those promises he made to us make no sense now. Our disillusionment was paralyzing.
Things used to be so clear, but now…
- we’ve lost the one on whom we got our bearings
- the one in whom we placed our trust
- the one who gave us self-confidence in the face of fear
- the one who told great stories and who explained those we did not understand
- the one we ate and drank with only two nights ago
- the one who made us feel like we mattered, like we were family
- the one who took us aside and gave us wisdom
- the one who claimed that we were ‘called and chosen’
- the one we insisted that we were willing to die for
Little did those gathered in the upper room that day guess that tomorrow will dawn revealing an event and an announcement from a woman “I have seen Him, Jesus lives. Go to Galilee and you will see him, just as he told you.”
And that would make all the difference.