March 29, 2020
I hope you are all well and hanging in there. I miss saying Mass with you, listening to our choir, getting hugs and handshakes, and smiles and watching baseball. If a microscopic virus can do this much damage, imagine what a mustard-sized faith can do. Our faith is much larger than a mustard seed.
To stay in touch with our church, I watched Pope Francis giving his blessing to the city of Rome and the world in the rain and Cardinal Timothy Dolan saying Sunday’s Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral with just a few priests and no one else. I offered Mass this weekend for all of you and especially for our first responders, medical, police, and fire personnel, those who deliver goods, those without jobs, and those who are sick or have died from this virus. The last time I said Mass publicly in our church was March 16 and that seems like ages ago.
I have blessed palms and they are available for anyone who wants them at the Rectory office during the week. For the first time ever on Holy Thursday, I will not be washing feet – except for mine! That day is a reminder of service, the Eucharist, and priesthood and we rejoice with these gifts! The Pope spoke of Jesus sleeping in the boat during the storm and the apostles wake him and he said, “where is your faith?” (Mark 4:35-41). This is the only time in scripture that we hear of Jesus sleeping. Cardinal Dolan spoke of Jesus crying at the death of his friend Lazarus (John 11:1-45 ). The only time the scriptures speak of Jesus crying. You should read these two gospels, they are most appropriate during this time of suffering for all of us.
Like you, I have been praying, spiritual reading, cleaning, fixing, eating too much, exercising, walking, watching lots of movies and TV, reading my favorite comic strip “Pickles,” listening to the kids riding their bikes and yelling in the parking lot at 10:30 p.m, and enjoying all the flowers coming up from the ground.
Hang in there and try to be good. This storm and this valley of tears will end.
With Him and His Mom,