There are people who you run into in your life who love seeing you in a hole, especially when it is a grave they have dug for you. All you want to do is see the horizon, to experience what life has to offer. Instead, these people give you a little bit of dirt, remind you that you are a failure, a sinner, poor, uneducated, unskilled, outliers, disadvantaged, unworthy, ugly, victim, in debt, sick, etc. Meanwhile they are here to help you with all the flaws of yours that they are able to see. They'll feed you like a plant. They give you drugs and drinks to make you see pretty colors and numb you to the crypt. They'll play you music and show you flashy pictures. Then they'll add a little dirt to keep you down, to make sure you are never too strong to escape and never too weak to die in a way that would make them seem responsible. The solutions are benign, but the 'problem solver' is a false shepherd who thinks sheep are delicious—can't eat just one.
But heaven forbid someone throws you a rope; they'll cut that thing as fast as they can, intimidate you, berate you, label you and do anything they can possibly do to prevent anyone from throwing a rope of any kind down that hole so that you can get out.
And after awhile, the grave feels pretty comfortable, or inevitable, or it might even be the only thing that you are worthy of.
If you are living in this kind of situation, all I can say is that I am sorry. Look for sneaky ropes—sometimes when you are in a hole you have to dig deeper and come out the other side. This is a true taste of what it means to feel the pain of death when your soul wants nothing more than to experience immortality and love life freely.
There is no one who wanted humanity to escape the grave more than Jesus Christ did. He smuggled life into the pit of Hades, prepared it for you not only long before you died, but before the day you were conceived.
For those celebrating Holy Unction tonight: May it serve as a rope to you. May hope in the promise of Christ hoist you up to new horizons, whatever your circumstances.
— Jacob Aaron Gorny