Focused on Tomorrow

Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

During these last four weeks, several people I know have noted, “This Lent is like one long Holy Saturday.”

In some ways, yes. It’s like we’re in suspended time. My teenager is having trouble keeping track of what day it is. I am, too. There’s not much to distinguish one day from another.

As of today, it’s been exactly four weeks since I’ve received the Eucharist. We attend the livestreamed Mass at our parish and are grateful to have that opportunity, but for me it only serves to increase my hunger for the sacraments.

Normally on Holy Saturday, we’re all focused on tomorrow. On any other Holy Saturday, I’d be putting together Easter treats for my kids (and for the one who lives two time zones away, I’d already have mailed something). I’d be ironing dress shirts and making sure I had every last ingredient I needed for a festive dinner with a special dessert (and maybe even appetizers if I was feeling extra ambitious). I’d be reviewing three or four responsorial psalms in advance of the Easter Vigil and double-checking my music binder to make sure everything for tonight and tomorrow was inside and in the right place.

This year, if I’m able to get potatoes, I’m thinking our festive Easter dinner (and all-day Easter project after online Mass) will be homemade pierogi.

This year, the tomorrow we’re focused on is the day we will be released from our own socially isolated “tombs” — the day we can once again leave our homes, visit with family and friends, be present at Mass.

For Jesus, that day was Easter. For us, it will be later.

But for today, let’s focus on Jesus’ tomorrow. Let’s focus on the Resurrection and the hope it signifies.

Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz

#WorthRevisit: Dread vs. Hope

For #WorthRevisit Wednesday, I’m backing up 10 years and thinking about the hope of the season.

Why is Lent something we seem to dread?

. . . I’ve lost count of the people who have expressed to me how much they “hate Lent.” This morning a fellow church musician mentioned that she finds Lenten music to be full of Gloom and Doom.

Granted, this is not a cheerful time, in the sense that Christmas and Easter are cheerful. But it is certainly a hopeful time. It is a time to look forward to the holiest Three Days that we celebrate as a Church. As we remind ourselves each week as we recite the Memorial Acclamation, “Lord, by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world.”

During this season of Lent, may we remember that it’s not All About Us. It’s not about whether we can abide giving up chocolate, or soda, or colored sprinkles. These sacrifices are small potatoes indeed when we meditate on what Christ was willing to do for our sakes.

May we walk through this Lent with a joyful spirit.


I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!

worth revisit

Copyright 2017 Barb Szysziewicz, OFS

Small Success: 6 More Months

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800Thursdays at begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

I purposely waited to do this today. Early this morning, as soon as TheKid got on the school bus (a Small Success in his own right, given his track record for making the bus), Hubs and I headed off to the cancer center for his checkup.

I had a container with 2 dozen cookies in hand, to thank the radiology staff who helped us through all the craziness with the needed referrals (thank you, ever-changing rules regarding who gets to provide what service for which patient…)

Yesterday, in the middle of all those awful moments when I was told Hubs wouldn’t be able to have the tests because of some insurance snafu, I cried. And then I prayed. I knew I wasn’t getting anywhere on my own with this. I prayed before I made the next phone call I had to make. One Memorare Express Novena (9 Memorares plus a bonus one in thanksgiving) and a plea to St. Jude later, I dialed the phone, sat around on hold for a few minutes, then disconnected the call when my call-waiting showed Hubs’ primary physician was dialing in–to tell us that he could, indeed, have the tests today.

THERE IS NO WAY THAT WAS A COINCIDENCE. And yesterday was the feast of St. Jude, you know.

double chocolate cranberry cookies (3)My new friend in radiology was happy for the cookies and immediately gave me her email address so she could get the recipe. By the time Hubs was done with his CT scan, she’d printed it out.

The oncologist gave Hubs’ test results two thumbs up, so we’re all set for the next 6 months.

We had to stop back at radiology to take care of a few details before we left. I was annoyed at the inconvenience–we’d already been there almost 4 hours and I’d had enough. But back we went, and I sat down to wait.

And someone called my name. It was my favorite cashier from ShopRite. She and her husband go to our church, and he’s been quite sick recently. Today, he walked out of the X-Ray department looking better than I’ve seen him in weeks. He’d gotten a good report. We rejoiced together.

There are not a lot of good reports in cancer centers. There are not a lot of people leaving there with smiles on their faces. Today we, and our friends, did just that.

Share your Small Successes at by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!