Since the outset of the coronavirus, Mother Elaine has communicated almost daily messages and reflections of love, hope and prayers to the SJS community. Please see the collection of messages below. We will continue to add messages.
April 28, 2020
Remembering that we celebrate Easter for 50 days i thought that this reflectoin was worth reading even though it is a few dates after Sunday. Enjoy!
My Dear Good People, I'd like to bring up something I've been thinking about this Easter season. Gathering with friends and sharing food seems to have been important to Jesus. He went to a wedding banquet and performed a miracle when the hosts ran out of wine. He fed large crowds several times. The Gospels mention three different occasions when He ate at the house of another - Zaccheus, Matthew (Levi) and the home of Lazarus and his two sisters. Jesus' last gathering with the apostles before His arrest was in fact a meal, and after He rose he shared food with them, once even preparing breakfast for them on the beach after the apostles had spent a long night fishing. He had a fish dinner once when He visited the apostles who were hiding in the upper room, and ate dinner with the two disciples at Emmaus (as we hear this weekend in the Gospel at Mass). Many meals, deep fellowship, and a great serving of Love. During this time when we are unable, for the most part, to join with our brothers and sisters to worship publicly in our parish churches, we feel so deeply the loss of Holy Communion. The Eucharist is the hallmark of the Christian life. I received a letter today from a friend who wrote, 'Please pray that this COVID-19 will end soon, so we can receive the Holy Eucharist again. I miss Him.' This touched me deeply. How we miss Him. Yes, we can make spiritual communions, we can watch Mass on television, read our bibles and pray quietly or together in our homes, but the gift of worshiping together and receiving our Lord into our hearts just can't be replicated. Let us remember that we are, each of us, the dwelling place of the Living God. Let our hunger for common prayer and personal Communion invite us to pray ever more fervently for an end to the virus. And may we promise God and ourselves that we will never, ever take for granted the beautiful privilege of sharing the Eucharistic meal with our beloved Lord. O Blessed Food for our souls, gift of Love, may we always recognize You in the breaking of the bread.
Let Us Pray for You Our most important mission is to pray. And an important part of our prayer is praying for your needs and those of your loved ones. It is a sacred trust the Sisters hold dear. Please keep sending them to us. God Bless you- Mother Elaine
April 20, 2020
Yesterday was Mercy Sunday. I have enclosed a reflection from Mother Marie Julie for your reflection.
Please also know that I have been praying for each of you everyday as the Sisters and I gather together ask God's blessing upon each of you -
The reflection follows: Divine Mercy - Sunday, April 19, 2020
Reflection by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC (Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31)
My Dear Good People, On this Octave Day of Easter we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy. It comes from a revelation received by a Polish nun in 1931 in which Jesus appeared to her and spoke of His Heart as an 'Abyss of Mercy" for all who come to Him in their need. He asked that a painting be made depicting Him as He appeared to her, and now we see that image frequently on prayer cards, in churches and most recently on the doors of many homes asking for deliverance from covid-19. The great Message of Mercy comes from the Heart of Jesus who knows how much we need Him, and wants us to find that need fulfilled in Him no matter how unworthy we might feel. Nothing we could ever do can prevent Jesus from loving us, so He reaches out to us, inviting us to trust in Him. But Divine Mercy is more than forgiveness of our sins. Jesus wants us to come whenever we need His help: when we are afraid or uncertain (that would be now), in frustration (also now), in illness or when we are unable to meet our responsibilities (that would be the case for many of us). But He's not like a rich uncle or a powerful congressman. Rather, He is the Father who says, "Come. Tell me all about it. I will understand. I will bring you peace." We don't have to deserve His mercy. It comes without conditions, just because He loves us.
If ever we needed Divine Mercy, this would be the moment. He is our Refuge.
Jesus, I trust in You. Let Us Pray for You Our most important mission is to pray. And an important part of our prayer is praying for your needs and those of your loved ones. It is a sacred trust the Sisters hold dear. Please keep sending them to us. If any of you have a prayer intention you would like us to pray for please respond to thai email or send them on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be honored to add your intentions to our prayers. I am praying for each of you daily and will continue to do so. The Sisters and I have a prayer box in chapel for your intentions. The prayer box sits near our statue of St. Joseph. St Joseph is a very powerful intercessor. Your intentions will be kept confidential.
God Bless you-
April 12, 2020
Dear Parents and Students- I just want to take a moment to wish you all a very Blessed Easter! May the risen Lord give you strength and hope during these trying times. May this day be a day of peace and joy for you and your family. Please know you all have been in my prayers these most holiest of days and that I will be continuing to pray for you each day. God Bless you. May you feel the peace of Christ
Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020 Reflection by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC Acts 10:34a, 37-43/Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8/John 20:1-9 (42) or Matthew 28:1-10 (41)
My Dear Good People, Alleluia! We come to the Day of Resurrection! Our God lives! Throughout the Christian world people are finding ways to celebrate the rising of Jesus from the dead. It is the surest sign of His divinity, the undeniable truth that He is the promised Messiah, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. And what does the Resurrection mean for us? It means that we can know for certain that we will rise again to eternal life. That may sound rather prosaic, given the serious matters facing us every day. But in a world that needs hope, this IS hope! There is life after life, not just when we take our last breath but right now, He is our Savior, our Refuge, our Shepherd in whom we can place our trust, sure of His Word. If ever we needed something to believe in, this is the moment. Let Jesus be the Strength that keeps us forging ahead. This is the day of fulfilled promises. When all seemed lost, Jesus showed us that God has the last word, not as judge but as Redeemer. Certain as the dawn is His coming as King at the end of time, but for now, this April 12, He belongs to each one of us. He walks with us, suffers with us, believes in us, loves us without condition. Perhaps we never had the chance to get out to buy a new outfit, but by the death and rising of Jesus, we are a new creation. We are an Easter People. The Sisters of Charity pray for you with great love, that you may find in this wondrous day the peace and comfort you seek.
Christ is risen, Alleluia! He is indeed risen, Alleluia! Blessed Easter to you!
April 11, 2020
Dear Parents, Please find today's reflections- A Blessed Easter to you and all your loved ones-
Holy Saturday, April 11, 2020
Reflection by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
My Dear Good People, During this day the Church is silent. There can be no Mass, even when there isn't a virus to keep us away. We feel as lost as the disciples did while Jesus lay in the tomb. What must have been going through their minds as they received the images of His suffering and death through the eyes of St. John, the only apostle recorded to be present at the death of Jesus? How lonely the day seems. Even the palms that were blessed last Sunday are dry and withered today. Like us. Dry and withered. Yet, we know the story of Jesus is not to end this way. By this evening, in quiet churches everywhere, without congregations, Priests are celebrating the Easter Vigil Services. What begins in darkness outside the churches moves into the empty churches with the lighting of the Paschal (Easter) candle, the sign of the risen Jesus. There will be many readings telling the story of our salvation from the fall of Adam and Eve through the exodus of the Jews from Egypt to the beautiful words of St Paul to us: "You must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11), and then the words of tonight's Gospel that announce the glorious Resurrection of Jesus. This will be an Easter like no other in our experience. Most of us are still in some form of home-stay, whether by a governor's order or just good judgment. Somehow it doesn't seem like Easter as we know it. But the disciples found it hard to believe, too, that Jesus was raised, until they saw Him, touched the marks of the nails, and heard His voice. The Resurrection was an incredible happening. We, too, live in the midst of an incredible happening. Yet, the rising of Jesus from the Dead brings us a gift that is sorely needed today. Can we open the door of our hearts and let Hope in? Jesus holds us in His wounded Hands, close to His pierced Heart. We don't just recall the First Easter. Tonight there will be Easter in our soul. The mystery we have been reflecting on these last seven days is finally explained to us: No tomb could hold Him. But our hearts can. Rejoice.
April 9, 2020
I want to wish you a Blessed Triduum. yesterday's reflection follows:
Holy Thursday, April 9, 2020
Reflection by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC (Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 Psalm 116 1 Cor 11:23-26 John 13:1-15) My Dear Good People, We find ourselves at the beginning of the Sacred Triduum the Three Sacred Days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. These are more than simply days leading up to Easter. Each has its own identity and its own invitation to a deeper relationship with Our Lord. Some years, as is the case this year, the Sacred Triduum coincides with our Jewish brothers' and sisters' celebration of Passover, (The dates of the Jewish Passover and Christian Easter are determined by the phases of the spring moon, though Easter looks at the first full moon after the vernal equinox while the Jewish Passover determination is a bit more complex.) Many of us have celebrated this in the past by attending the Mass of the Lord's Supper during the evening hours of Holy Thursday. This year we are unable to do so, but we can unite our hearts and minds to Jesus through spiritual communion. In a way we feel some of the sadness that Jesus and the apostles felt as the night began to cover them with its shadow. They left the Upper Room, that guest room where so much had happened, and went with Jesus to pray at the Garden of Gethsemane. There, Our Lord fell into an agony as He saw the vision of what was to happen to Him that evening and the next day. In His human nature, Jesus became afraid and struggled with the anticipation of His torturous death. Yet, He surrendered to the Will of His Father, and gave Himself up to the wiles of the mob that came to arrest Him. I love to look up at the Paschal moon each Holy Thursday and know that it's the very same moon Jesus gazed upon as He lifted his eyes to His Father during those hours of agonized prayer. He loved us beyond our imagining, and went forth bravely to face His death so that we might live in hope of our own resurrection, free from the slavery of sin. During the hours of this day when we might be saddened by the losses we are all feeling and by the anxiety we experience over the seemingly inexorable march of this virus, let us look to Jesus for the courage we need. He understands our fears, our sadness, and the heaviness of spirit we experience as we wonder what tomorrow might bring. But let us think of this rather as Love's Great Day, the day when He gave us Himself in the Holy Eucharist, and went out to His arrest and ultimate death because of His love for us, an unconditional love that nothing could quench neither betrayal nor sin, neither hatred or injustice. All because Love triumphs over all. Even COVID-19. Even our sin. Even our fears. May His love for you bring you comfort in these difficult days. God Bless you-
April 8, 2020
Wednesday of Holy Week
Reflection by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
(Isaiah 50:4-9a Matthew 26:14-25) My Dear Good People, Today in Matthew's Gospel we have another telling of the Last Supper; Mt 26:14-25. There is a lovely line in the reading that gives me hope during this most difficult time when we cannot celebrate Holy Week in our parish Church. The apostles want to prepare the room and the Passover meal, which we have come to know as the Last Supper. But Jerusalem is not their home town, so they are looking for a good place to have their sacred meal. Jesus tells his friends to approach a certain man in the city, and tells them to say this: "The Master says, 'My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.' " Don't we wish ours could have been the house where Jesus would celebrate His Last Passover meal before His death? Ah, it can be! I am certain that your heart, my heart, our next door neighbor's heart is the EXACT place where Jesus would love to celebrate the Passover this year. Remember that it was at this Passover that Jesus instituted the two great sacraments of the Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist. For believers, the Last Supper is the apex of the events in His life leading to His death and resurrection. Let us invite Him this year, when few among us are free to go to church, to celebrate His Last Supper in our hearts. If we cannot receive Him sacramentally into our hearts, we can be with Him by spiritual Communion and He with us. Take the time to read the Gospel of John, chapters 13 through 17; Matthew, chapter 26; Luke, chapter 22, and Mark, chapter 14 (a very brief account). Each Gospel writer has a different emphasis; something in each of them may touch your heart as you offer your own heart to be the place, the 'guesthouse' some translations have it, where Jesus may spend His last hours with you and with His friends in intimate conversation before His passion begins. This isn't just imaginative fancy. As we continue reflecting on the events of these Liturgical Holy Days, we find ourselves longing more and more to be near Him in some way that no mandate, no virus can take away from us. That would be through a conscious awareness of the Indwelling Presence: God, living in us by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Make the guest house of your heart ready for Jesus. Leave a candle burning in its window with the flame lit by prayer and charity. It may turn out to be the meal of a lifetime. Will we ever forget this Holy Week? No, and neither will our Jesus. God bless you. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay close to Jesus. Let Us Pray for You - Please send any prayer requests you may have to me, Mother Elaine and I will be glad to place them on our altar in the convent.
April 7, 2020
Tuesday of Holy Week, April 7, 2020
Reflection by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
(Isaiah 49:1-6 Psalm 71: 1,2,3-4a,5,6,15,17 John 13: 21-33, 36-38) My Dear Good People, Today we read from the Gospel of John, 13:21-38, a scene from the Last Supper. Jesus is sad; you and I know why, but the apostles don't yet understand that in a few hours He will be crucified. He even says, "One of you will betray me." We know He is speaking of Judas. He shares a morsel of bread with Judas who takes it and, as the Gospel says, he "left at once. And it was night." Such a sad commentary. Judas shares part of a meal with his Master, then suddenly leaves and enters into the darkness that will lure him to the betrayal of the One who loves him. What if he had stayed to hear the rest of what Jesus was going to tell the apostles throughout the meal? Would he have had second thoughts about entering into that 'night' of betrayal? Yesterday we spoke of the importance of spending time with Jesus in prayer. The entire Last Supper was a prayer, but Judas chose not to stay. And when he left, he found himself at the loneliest moment of his life. Then Peter speaks up to declare his own fidelity to Jesus. But Our Lord shows him that he, too, will fail Him. In just a few hours after the Supper, in the darkness, Peter will be faced with a mortal fear that will lead to his denial of ever having known Jesus. Still, almost immediately Peter will repent with tears of anguished, loving contrition. Recall, though, that Peter had remained throughout the entire meal, the Last Supper that was such a beautiful prayer. We, too, can fail Jesus. In moments of weakness we can even betray Him. But by remaining close to Him in prayer whenever we can, we will find ourselves repenting after each failure, and will receive the same Mercy Peter received. Don't ever despair. Don't compare yourself to someone else who seems holier than you, or with someone who seems to 'have it all together' when it comes to faith. Jesus sees you as you are and loves you. Not because of your weakness, not in spite of it. He just loves you. Because you are beautiful.
I promise. Fervent Holy Week. Be safe, be well. Easter is coming.
April 6, 2020
Please find the latest reflection from our beloved Mother Marie Julie. Blessed Holy Week- I am praying for all of you-
Monday of Holy Week, April 6, 2020
Reflection by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC (Isaiah 42:1-7 Psalm 27: 1,2,3, 13-14 John 12: 1-11)
My Dear Good People,
We recall the story of the raising of Lazarus to life which we heard read on the fifth Sunday of Lent. Today in John 12:1-11 we find Jesus visiting the home of that same Lazarus six days before Passover. As they are sharing a meal, Mary (probably the sister of Lazarus) kneels at the feet of Jesus and anoints them with precious oil and dries them with her hair. This is a tender moment for Jesus as He receives this intimate gift from someone who obviously loves Him. But Judas, also present at the meal, interrupts this beautiful scene with an insult. "Why this waste? Why wasn't this [oil] sold and the money given to the poor?" Jesus defends the woman's kindness, and tells those who are at table with Him that Mary has anointed Him in preparation for His burial. He does not berate Judas. His mind is on His approaching death. He takes the time to defend Mary's act as preparing Him for His burial. He doesn't see the pouring out of this costly perfumed oil on Him as a waste. Her attentiveness to Him has earned her a place in history that offers us a glimpse into the beauty of spending time with God in prayer. When you turn to prayer, whether at Mass (in the days before covid-19 upended our lives) or at dawn before you begin your busy day, does it sometimes seem like a 'waste' of time because you don't feel that anything is happening during your prayer? Do you think of all the other things you could (or perhaps should) be doing instead of praying? Do you ever wonder if prayer is really important at all? That can happen. But today's Gospel reminds us that at times we need to pour out the best we have, our humble hearts, before God as our gift to Him. He doesn't ask for perfection. He asks for our love, even though we might not feel especially loving on any given day. He invites us to lavish ourselves on Him, even to 'waste' ourselves on Him, and it will have infinite value. We might not see it now, but He takes our willingness to give ourselves to Him and uses it to transform our lives in ways we cannot imagine. Today, let us think of this tender moment in the life of Jesus, on one of the last days of His life on earth, and offer Him the best we have, whatever that might be. Let it be an act of love for the Son of God Who is about to give us, to pour out on us, to 'waste' on us if you will, the best He has: His entire life in an act of tender mercy. Sweet perfume. Soothing oil. Fifteen minutes just for Him. Whatever it is we offer Him, He will defend us in the offering because He always has each one of us on His mind. Could that possibly be a waste?
God bless you this Holy Week. Be safe and be well.
Let Us Pray for You Our most important mission is to pray. And an important part of our prayer is praying for your needs and those of your loved ones. It is a sacred trust the Sisters hold dear. Please keep sending them to us.
April 3, 2020
Today we reflect on John 10:30.
Sometimes I need to remember that God is there, and so I pray: As busy as I can be, no matter how many important things need to be done, you are there. Sometimes I'm alone or feel confused or depressed, and you are there. I feel lost, and it's at these times that I need to turn to you in prayer, and you gently nudge and guide me first into prayer and then to where I need to be. I try very hard. God, you have gifted me with amazing sight to see the big picture and to recognize what needs to be done. But it's sobering to realize at times that I'm not Superman and can't always do everything. Still, you are there to help me to see my part in the big picture; you have helped me to grow closer to you when I recognize you are always with me. God Bless you-
April 2, 2020
Please be assured of my continued prayers for each of you. I do miss seeing each of you. I look forward to the day we will all be together again.
Dear students, work hard, be good, help around the house and be sure to tell your folks that you love them as well as reminding them that God loves them as well. Bishop Barron's reflection follows: Friends, in today's Gospel Jesus asserts his pre-existence by declaring that "before Abraham came to be, I AM." There has been a disturbing tendency in recent years to turn Jesus into an inspiring spiritual teacher. If that's all he is, the heck with him. But the Gospels are never content with such a reductive description. Though they present him as a teacher, they know that he is infinitely more than that. That something else is at stake in him and our relation to him. Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus is divine. He once declared, "Have faith in God; have faith also in me." We can easily imagine other religious founders urging faith in God, but we'd be hard pressed to imagine them urging the same faith in themselves! But on Jesus' lips, the two are parallel. As C.S. Lewis so vividly saw, this means that Jesus compels us to make a choice the way no other figure does. Either you are with Jesus or you are against him. There is no other way to take in this language. To get this wonderful paradox is to come close to the heart of what it means to be a Christian. Reflect: Reflect on this statement: "Either Jesus is who he says he is, or he is a lying lunatic. There is no middle ground." Where do you stand?
March 30, 2020
Please see below. A beautiful reflection from mother Marie Julie, SCMC superior General. Mother gave me permission to share this with you. Please be assured that all of the Sisters at the motherhouse as well as Sister Mary Kathleen, Sister Gabriela and myself are also praying for you and your family as well. Let us continue to lift one another up in prayer. Please enjoy Mother's reflection. It speaks to me as I am sure it will speak to you as well. Be well.
Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 29, 2020 by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC (Ezekiel 37:12-14 Psalm 130 1-8 Romans 8 8-11 John 11:1-45)
My Dear Good People,
The Gospel reading for the fifth Sunday of Lent is a timely one for us. A dear friend of Jesus is deathly ill. Jesus goes to His friend's village, and is told that Lazarus has already been in the tomb four days. Jesus is shaken when He sees Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, grieving the loss of their brother, and He performs an extraordinary miracle: He restores Lazarus to life.
The entire story, recounted in the Gospel of John, 11: 1-45, is a beautiful manifestation of the power of Jesus. But the words He speaks at the end this Gospel reading are especially hopeful for us at this time. He calls His friend Lazarus from the darkness of the tomb into the light, and says to those gathered at the grave, "Unbind him, and let him go free." Can we not hear these words spoken in the darkness of the threat of covid-19? Are we not bound by lock-down, quarantine, or the fear of leaving our homes? Do we not feel in some ways that life as we have known it may never return?
Oh, how we need a Savior to unbind us and set us free.
And for some of us, these words cut to the heart of our inmost being as we cry out for deliverance from our own patterns of sinfulness. This is where our Lenten journey has been leading us: right into the embrace of the One who longs to unbind us and set us free from all that keeps us from becoming the person we know we are called to be.
These are not words of condemnation but of love. Our God wants us to be unbound. He invites us to seek His gift of freedom. Think of it: He wants us to live in the Light, not in the darkness. We have a God who loves us and wants to do more for us, in us, than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)! Let us come out of our tombs, whatever they may be, open our eyes and find hope in the dear Face of our Jesus.
God bless you. Be safe. Be healthy. Be free.
March 27, 2020
Today's Gospel extracts nine lines from a longer, thirty-line passage of John. In preparation to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus's extended family has left for Jerusalem. Jesus departs in secret and later, after His family has left. The Feast of Tabernacles is a seven-day joyful celebration still observed by the Jews as a reminder that God chose to "tabernacle" (or dwell) among them as they wandered in the desert for forty years with Moses. The Feast of Tabernacles recalls the Jew's dependence on God and their thankfulness for His providential care. When the joyful feast is half over, Jesus makes His presence known by preaching in the temple. The crowd is amazed that members of the Sanhedrin allow Him to teach and debates whether Jesus could be the Messiah. Jesus confirms that although they have heard of Him and know His family of origin, they do not know His Father. At this, the crowd is infuriated so much that Jesus must slip away as "his hour had not come." Jesus, God the Son and the Father's greatest gift to us - "tabernacles" with us today in the Real Presence of the Eucharist and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. These are great mysteries which we must ultimately accept on faith. It is tempting to think that if we had seen Jesus in the flesh or heard Him speak or seen His miracles, then our faith would be rock strong. Perhaps then, we would not reject Him or fail Him so often. It will never be possible to fully comprehend the mystery of God on this side of eternity, just as most of the Jews in today's Gospels couldn't understand Jesus, who stood before them. Let's follow Christ in our hearts even though our minds can't fully grasp God's mysteries. Let's follow Christ in our hearts, even though our minds can't fully grasp God's mysteries.
Ponder: When was the last time you spent time with Jesus in quiet prayer, just you and Him?
Pray: Jesus, my Savior, help me to cling to You in my heart as my mind grapples with the mystery of You. Grow my faith rock hard.
Copyright 2020 Meggie K. Daly
March 25, 2020
Happy feast of the Annunication!
Today we reflect on Luke 1:38. But we know one thing: nothing is impossible for God's mercy! Even the most tangled knots are loosened by his grace. And Mary, whose "yes" opened the door for God to undo the knot of the ancient disobedience, is the Mother who patiently and lovingly brings us to God, so that he can untangle the knots of our soul by his fatherly mercy. We all have some of these knots, and we can ask in our heart of hearts: what are the knots in my life? "Father, my knots cannot be undone!" It is a mistake to say anything of the sort! All the knots of our heart, every knot of our conscience, can be undone. Do I ask Mary to help me trust in God's mercy, to undo those knots, to change? She, as a woman of faith, will surely tell you, "Get up, go to the Lord: he understands you." And she leads us by the hand as a mother, our Mother, to the embrace of our Father, the Father of mercies.
Let us continue to pray for one another. God is in control. I am confident some good will come from this. God bless you.
March 22, 2020
The Gospels continue to challenge us to the core. We are called to bring the love of Christ to all even in difficult times like these. God is with us and will indeed bring us through these uncharted waters. We are all being called to trust. We are going to be stronger people because of it. God is indeed in control.
March 23, 2020
Please find a beautiful reflection on yesterday's Gospel from Mother Marie Julie, Superior General.
Please be assured of my continued prayers for each of you. The Sisters of Charity's most important mission is to pray. Please send if you would like any prayer intentions you might have and I will add them to my prayers.
Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 22, 2020 by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC (1 Samuel 16:1b,6-7,10-13a Psalm 23:1-6 Ephesians 5:8-14 John 9:1-41)
My Dear Good People,
This weekend the church encourages us to reflect on the account of the blind man whom Jesus cured, which we read in the Gospel of John, Chapter 9, verses 1-41. It's a very long account, filled with intriguing details, and you can find many things to think about as you prayerfully read the story.
But I would like to offer you a thought that was shared by Deacon Matthew Ludick, the Director of Spiritual Care in the nursing home in Minnesota where he ministers. He talked about the situation in which we find ourselves now, with COVID-19 so close to all of us. Deacon Matt gently offered this comforting thought in just a few words, which I paraphrase here:
Right now, we are all blinded by what is happening in our world, with each day, even each moment, changing so rapidly that it can throw us into confusion. But Jesus is here with us, wanting to bring us new vision, new sight. We must trust that He will not leave us blinded and alone. He will show us the way.
Pope Francis has been urging us to that same trust, even as some of us are deprived of Holy Mass, confession and Holy communion, or the consolation of worshiping with the community that gives us spiritual grounding each Sunday. Some of us fear the loss of our jobs, or worry about how we will feed our children. These are uncharted waters in which we find ourselves, and the facts can't be overlooked: we just don't know what to expect from one day to the next. But, just as the blind man trusted in the words of Jesus, "Go wash in the pool... and you will be healed," so we must trust that He will not fail us. It takes extraordinary faith to believe that He cares for us when we feel the darkness closing in on us, especially because of our inability to predict what tomorrow will be like in our state, our town, our neighborhood, our own home. But Jesus does not fail us. He loves us, and God is bigger than this virus.
Together, let us let God give us new vision, new sight. May we come to know His healing Hands are upon us, even when everything seems dark. May the Light of the Holy Spirit comfort you and guide you. Please know that we pray every day for you. May God bless us all. Let Us Pray for You Our most important mission is to pray. And an important part of our prayer is praying for your needs and those of your loved ones. It is a sacred trust the Sisters hold dear. Please keep sending them to us.
March 20, 2020
Take some time to reflect on your life journey: the people, places, and experiences. Try to find a sense of gratitude in this difficult time. It can be really hard to accept that we are loved unconditionally; often our experience is limited and soured by lack of love or circumstances. Somehow, though, we still retain hope and recognize love when we see it. During Lent we are asked to consider that a person might give up his or her life for us; think about how Jesus has done that already for us. We are forgiven and loved beyond belief. Let that sink in. Think about how we would want to return that love and how your life would be different if we lived from this reality. All of the challenges we are facing today with the Corona-19 virus will pass. We need to keep this perspective. Tomorrow is Saturday. Please take some time to relax and enjoy your family this weekend.