“Why is this night different from all other nights?” asks the child as his family celebrates the Passover supper, as all observant Jewish families have done each year for 3300 years –since Moses led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt. This is not merely a common remembering; each Jewish person at the supper is to take the event as present, as a personal experience of the liberation. This is a way of remembering is that is woven into the Holy Scriptures: as God’s saving works are remembered, they indeed become present to us. God continues to save His people. In the Old Testament, the ritual of the Passover is the most intense example of this kind of remembrance.
A young couple, overjoyed to learn that they are expecting a child, undertakes a series of happy preparations which require the complete re-ordering of their lives. When their daughter is born, she will be the immediate beneficiary of these preparations, but years will pass before she is able to offer even a word or a gesture of gratitude.
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I remember as a child during Lent, my mother and I would walk to weekday Mass in the late afternoon. It was about a fifteen-minute walk. The sun would be setting, and the church’s west-facing stained glass windows would cast long streams of color across the floor and benches. On the way home, it would be dusk, and the fading light of late day would gradually give way to darkness.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the answers to our problems are simple. Other times, we can’t fathom that the people we know, including family members, can help us work things out. Today’s first reading and gospel are great food for thought regarding how we think and respond to challenges in our lives.
Imagine a huge city teeming with more than 16 million people, Dhaka, in a country of 165 million but only the size of Wisconsin with a Catholic population of less than one percent. That is Bangladesh, home to Holy Cross Family Ministries’ exciting, recently dedicated and blessed new ministry center.
The other afternoon I was closing-up the ministry when three first year college students came by to visit. They were curious about the building that was set apart from the rest of the campus. I asked if the wanted a quick tour of the Museum of Family Prayer.