April had been a rough month. During Holy Week, I came down with flu, and lost my voice. So I was not able to assist at the Holy Week Services. Getting over the flu took a lot out of me, physically and spiritually. So it was probably a good thing that the Archdiocese of Boston annual Deacon retreat took place this weekend.
It was held at the Jesuit Campion Retreat Center, on Weston, MA. Our retreat director was Brother Paul Feeney, CFX, who is popular with the Diaconate community, both as an educator and Retreat master.
His theme was what we can learn from spiritual master’s Evelyn Underhill, Dutch priest, Henri Nouwen; and how their writings can help us renew our spiritual lives.
It was also an opportunity to recharge my own spiritual life.
Some may have noticed I have silent for awhile. Multiple factors are involved. Primarily, I do not have have a working computer at the moment, What posts I have been able to make is via smartphone, and just do not have the thumbs for it. Add a touch of the flu; and a case of writer’s block, well, you can guess the rest. Do not know how this will all work out, but we will see what happens.
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, during which we commerate our Lord Jesus Christ’s triumph entrance into Jerusalem. However, in many Christian churches, the gospel reading is the Passion of Jesus Christ, the story of his crucifixion and death. From crowds calling out “Hosanna!” at his coming; are yelling “Crucify him!” as he is dragged out of the city, to Golgotha.
On this holy, solemn day; we have heard of the two bombing attacks against Egyptian Coptic Christians; we have seen the video of the explosions, and glimpsed the wounded and the dead. They have shared intimately in the suffering of Christ; may our Lord Jesus heal the wounded; may our Risen Lord bring the dead into the peace of heaven.
But you, O Lord, be not far from me; O my help, hasten to aid me. – Psalm 22
Tonight, the country learned that President Trump ordered the launching of cruise missiles against a Syrian air base. This was in response to the Syrian government’s air strike, with gas bombs, against civilians in rebel held territory.
I will be the first to admit that I am split personality in my reactions to this. The pacifist in me fears that this is the first step to a deeper conflict. The realist in me acknowledges that the Syrian government must learn that there is a price to pay when they use deadly gas against civilians. One has only to look at the pictures and videos of gasping, dying children; to realize something needed to be done. But now that the missles have flown, what happens next? Do we have a Commander in Chief who will know what to do, now that he has “….let slip the dogs of war.” I hope so; but in the meantime, I will add my prayers to countless others, that the Father will guide us and protect us:
I raise my eyes toward the mountains. From where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
The Lord will guard you from all evil, will always guard your life. The Lord will guard your coming and your going, both now and forever. (Psalm 121: 1-2, 7-8)
Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise.’ Martha said to him, ‘I I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day’ Jesus told her,
‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and in me will never die.’
I think that in many ways, the above statement by Jesus is among the most powerful in Saint John’s Gospel. It is indeed, the “Good News” that a suffering, weary world is waiting for, yearning for.
I feel, however, that these words give more than hope for eternal life, after death. For those of us weighed down by the life’s heavy burdens; we will rise! For those of us threatened by persecution and discrimination; we will rise! For those of us who are in depression and despair; we will rise! By the love and power of Christ; we will rise!
Once again, Mother Nature has tried to play an “April Fools!” joke on New England. This time, the joke was a little, compared to the one we received 20 years ago!
Still, I think they should rewrite the message on this sign to read: “Welcome Spring???”