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“Unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn. 12:24).

Jesus is dead. His body hangs on the cross, limp and lifeless, until at last it is taken down and placed in the lap of his mother. Reminds me of all the mothers that are forced to grieve for the lives of their sons and daughters that have been cut tragically short. What a blessing and curse it is to return to those loving arms. How great is God that he died for all of us to be saved. Like Mary, these moms have no control over the actions that have lead them to this place, but they must still give their children the same love and care that they did from infancy up to the moments of their passing. The imagery of them coming in to the world and leaving in their mother arms creates a dual emotion of love and sorrow. Despite this, the good news is that good people never really leave us, instead their spirit surround everyone and everything that they have touched. That influence continues to live on in all of us.

It is unfortunate that they could not remain with the world; it is an often sad truth that continues on to this day. Despite this sorrowful realness, the greatness and teaching that are left behind in the wake of these numerous tragedies allow them to live on. The memories and principles continue to spread and touch the lives of individuals, and there is a chance to continue the marathon.

Call some names of the people that continue to guide you in their passing.

What teaching and philosophies do you live by that was passed down to you?

How often do you live out these teachings?

What is a time where you did not following them?

Closing Prayer: Jesus, as teachers we sometimes face challenges that leave us at a loss. We worry that it is beyond our power to make a difference for our loved ones. Show us the example of your Blessed Mother, and teach us that when we can think of nothing else to do, we can hold fast to you, and you will always lead us forward. Let her strength and grace live in our hearts, and guide us in our comings and goings. When the burden is too heavy for us alone, wrapped your loving arms around us so that we may feel your presence and know that we are not alone. Remind us that every day is a blessing and a chance to live out the lessons that we have learned. In your name we prayer, Amen.