This is Holy Week. Years from now, God willing, when I look back at this time and people ask me what I remember the most, like many others I would have to say “The sight of the Bishop of Rome, alone on a rainy Friday dusk in an empty St. Peter’s Square.”
On March 27th the Pope gave the most stirring reflection on our current sorrow and crisis. His opening words reflect the mood of this week, and of our time, I include some excerpts for your reflection in this most Holy of Weeks:
"When evening had come” (Mk 4:35)...For weeks now it has been evening. Thick dark- ness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people's gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm.
We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other.”
"We were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick.”
“Lord, In this world, that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: Wake up, Lord!”.”
“The pandemic is not a judgment from God, but a time for us to judge, to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track.”
“Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God's strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.”
“We have an anchor: by his cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by his cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: by his cross we have been healed and em- braced so that nothing and no one can separate us from his redeeming love. In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side.”
Jesus is with us,
Long Live Christ the King!
Father Robert Letona