A message on a sign in front of a Church this past week read: “O Lord, I didn’t know I was going to have to give up so much this Lent!” What has happened has led us to what we might think of as our communal Lenten experience and so then consider as well what the Lord intends for us to learn together!
The Gospel texts this week, just before entering Holy Week, bring into relief the confrontation that will lead to the Crucifixion: between Jesus and the worldly powers. Each year Lent is to prepare to choose once again to walk the way of Jesus unto the Cross that brings life.
The confrontation with the fragility of our human situation that the pandemic provokes should wake us up to see ways we have been living in our society that share in the present day face of those same worldly powers. In his moving Urbi et Orbi address to the whole world last week (March 27), Pope Francis named some of these forces.
“We have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit … We were not shaken awake by wars and injustice … nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet.”
Will the end of COVID-19 simply mean a return to “the same old same old” ways that have promised happiness … but everybody who is honest recognizes deliver something very different?
This will be a very unusual Holy Week, participating from our homes. However, it can be just a grace-filled. We need to pray intently and together, that the Church (all of us) be so filled with grace as to rise again with Christ so that others see Him.
May our Holy Mother Mary lead us on our Holy Week journey.
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About Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C.
Father James Phalan, C.S.C., is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the National Director of Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary as part of the Family Rosary team. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!