When a family member of our Catholic priest Mary was preparing to start chemotherapy for cancer treatment, she said to him, “You are walking the Hero’s Journey,”
The Hero’s Journey is a tale as old as humankind. An individual leaves home and all that is familiar and secure. He goes out into the world, encountering along the way many challenges, some marvelous and some horrifying, even life-threatening.At times the person’s path joins with other travelers who can be companions in the experience. At times the journey is solitary, even painfully, agonizingly lonely.The traveler comes to a deeper understanding of the world and of self. At the end of the journey, the traveler arrives back home to the familiar and the loved, but forever changed. In setting out to seek new discoveries, the seeker has discovered the self.
When Jesus is entering Jerusalem, the crowds are going crazy with excitement and cheering. It is clear to Roman and Jewish authorities that Jesus is having a destabilizing impact on the populace. And now Jesus has passed a point at which there is no turning back. He feels the immense weight of this realization. His companions lie near him asleep. If only they could be awake with him to share the agony, to help bear the burden.And yet he is not alone. In his solitary humanness he turns to his Divine Parent, “Abba (Dad),” he begs, “please don’t make me go through this. Let this bitter cup pass. But if it must be, I will continue on this path.”
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.