May 14, 2020
My dear Parishioners,
The Easter Season is almost over and God will continue to show us that He is the only One we can trust especially in this unprecedented time of coronavirus pandemic. I am inspired by the words of Pope Francis from what he shared as his message for the whole world at the beginning of the stay-at-home orders from the Health Public Authorities in all countries affected by Covid-19.
“For weeks now,” the Pope said, “thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distress 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 (When the disciples were in the boat being tossed by big waves in the Sea of Galilee), 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. On this boat…are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (Mk 4:38) so we, too, have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.”
The Lord is calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that God exist, but coming to Him and trusting in Him. God is calling us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing. It is not the time for God judgment on us, but of our judgment: a time 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 with regard to our Lord, and to others. How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope, taking care to sow not panic but a shared responsibility? How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer? How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all? Prayer and quite service: these are our victorious weapons.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Faith begins when we realize we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we flounder: We need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars. 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.
Pope Francis continues with this encouragement: “The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering. The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith. We have an anchor: by His cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by his cross we have been redeemed. We have hope: by his cross we have been healed and embraced 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: Jesus is risen and is living by our side…He is alive and is with us.
NOTE: Please continue to support our parish community by using On-Line giving to offer your financial donation (Check On-Line giving in our Parish Website). Also, I want to encourage all parishioners to make sure to let your whole household members be counted in the 2020 Census, and please do it as soon as you can by phone or On Line: Census2020.gov.