My sisters and brothers in Christ,
It has begun! The most sacred time in the church’s year, Holy Week. This is the week in which is rooted all we do and say and believe as Catholic Christians. It is the most challenging week of the year as we are reminded that in this life there is great suffering and great love, as there was for Jesus.
Yet our suffering cannot define us. It doesn’t have the power to. Although at times we may suffer deeply, suffering does not have the depth of love. (Believe me! Love always wins!) Suffering cannot define us. Only love has the power to define us.
We are invited to hold our suffering lightly, with hands wide open, as we still love, as Jesus did. If we do so, then we can accept what is real, “friend do what you have come for…” Mt.26:50; and still be open. We can work for peace and reconciliation, “put your sword back in its place…” Mt.26:52, even when being attacked. We can be non-argumentative, “You say so…” Mt.27:11-14, even when we are right, and we can still cry out in lament, knowing and trusting the promise of God to deliver us, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Mt. 27:45-47.
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me”, is only the first line of Psalm 21. Read Psalms 21 and 22 to get a clearer picture of what Jesus was saying/praying on the cross. Our human minds are not made to hold opposites together. Check out Baby Suggs sermon on YouTube from the movie/book “Beloved” by Toni Morrison. (Put into your browser “Baby Suggs sermon”.) Only the human heart is big enough to hold the tensions, as she invites laughter, tears, and dancing to a suffering and oppressed people.
Peace to you and yours as we continue to hold each other and our world close to our hearts.
Thank you to all those who have mailed your offertory to the church or used the diocese’s online link to make a donation. Your offertory is greatly appreciated! Mailing your offertory is easy, simply seal your offertory envelope and place a stamp on it. It is already addressed to the church. To donate online, please go to this link https://www.orlandodiocese.org/landing/ and click on the yellow button labeled “Donations to your Parish”. Then follow the prompts to make your donation. Thank you!