I started Black Saturday with a 6AM run. I pushed myself harder this time, helping me finish 5 minutes earlier than my previous run. I felt so good. Spent, but good. In the afternoon, I huffed and puffed as I climbed the hill of Caleruega toward the Tent Chapel of Transfiguration. The sky was getting darker with every step, and a slight drizzle began to fall. Yikes, I thought. It’s a long way back and I still have a few meters to cover. Either I roll back down or I run uphill when the rain starts to fall. But I didn’t stop. Not even to catch my breath. I thought, “this is a small sacrifice compared with the pain and suffering that Jesus went through.” I don’t know exactly how far Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem was from Calvary, but the distance doesn’t really matter, does it? That is, considering that Jesus was still swollen from the scourging and bleeding from the crown of thorns while carrying a heavy crossbeam. It would take a really strong man, with an equally strong will to go through something as horrendous as that. When I finally reached the chapel, I sat down in front of the Altar of Repose and stared. My mind went blank from breathlessness. Sweat raced down my spine. But I wasn’t tired or dizzy from all the climbing and walking. This 47-year old body felt perfectly fine. And there, right in front of me, was the image of the Risen Christ. Suddenly it was no longer just sweat that was flowing down the sides of my face. Voluntary tears. I didn’t try to think why. I just let it go. And it felt good.
The rain didn’t pour the rest of the time I was in Caleruega. It rained while I was already driving down the highway. Everything felt good.