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Streaming Mass and Announcements for the Week of 17 May 2020

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Community Mass for Saturday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Friday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Thursday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Tuesday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Monday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Mass for the Sixth Sunday of Easter 
         Worship Aid for the Sixth Sunday of Easter


ANNOUNCEMENTS

fleur cross logo Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries.The Second Collection this weekend is for Parish Special Needs. We humbly ask your continued financial support.  Please consider Faith Direct. Thank you for your generosity. 

fleur cross logo Arlington Diocese released guidelines this week about how parishes are going to reopen for Mass.  As we are currently still in Phase 0 (pre-opening stage due to continued rise in local infections) we are instructed by Bishop Burbidge to wait until the weekend of May 30-31 to resume community Masses.  You will find explanation and initial planning in Fr. Don's article this week (page 3) as well as the instruction sheet prepared by the diocese (page 5-6) in today's bulletin.

fleur cross logo Our Novena to the Holy Spirit begins this Friday, May 22.  We will pray the novena prayers at the end of live-streamed Masses and you will find the text of the prayers on pages 12-13 in this bulletin as well as at the parish website's announcements page.

fleur cross logo Our Parish Staff members are all working from home and standing by to receive your calls.  Let us know how we can serve you.  We're still here for you.

fleur cross logo Please consider our Catholic School.  We invite you to visit our Virtual Open House at our school Facebook page, facebook.com/stbernschool/videos, if you would like to see what we can do for your child. You are welcome to call our Saint Bernadette School office at 703-451-8696 to learn more.  Registration is open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.

fleur cross logo  Washington Lamb has informed us that effective this week they need to discontinue the food order/delivery program until further notice.  They have been experiencing difficulty in receiving deliveries on the supply side and must prioritize the normal demand for their primary restaurant clients to whom they are first contractually obligated.  They apologize for the suddenness of this announcement but want to let you know they are still offering their walk-in retail option to members.  Questions may be directed to 703-339-7000, info@washingtonlamb.com.

fleur cross logo For the Fairfax County Health Department's toolkit regarding mitigation of the coronavirus spread please see https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus/toolkit-slow-spread   To receive regular updates by text, you may text FFXCOVID to 888-777.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 17 May 2020

Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

All of a sudden we have a big bulletin this week!  We knew the Holy Spirit Novena was coming:  rather than attach it to daily Mass this year, since we have the video option, we will record and provide the short prayers with a link for the texts on the announcements page of the parish website.  This was the first novena, the nine days that the Apostles prayed in hiding after Jesus' ascension into heaven (observed next Sunday) and Pentecost, two Sundays from now.  We all need to pray "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful" now more than ever!

As you will find beginning on the page to the right, Bishop has published guidelines for the reopening of parishes.  Some parishes to the south are open this weekend, but we are delayed because we are not yet determined Phase 1 in the plan of reopening.  We are still under stay-at-home orders and the best thing we can do to beat this is to stay at home.  On a zoom meeting with pastors this week he told us that it does no good, in a Phase 0 zone, to pretend that we are not in a Phase 0 zone.

Even once we reopen he asked all pastors to remind everyone that coming back together does not mean that our doing so does not involve risk.  The virus is no less contagious than it was two months ago.  For this reason he has told us that nobody should feel like this has to happen right away.  He expects a slow return as people become more and more comfortable, and people display proper respect for others by wearing masks and physical distancing, at least six feet between people.  The Mass will be no different.  We will be expected to wear masks, have no physical contact with each other and build a culture of trust where we know we are safe with our parish family.  You can read where he has included certain precautions to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The dispensation from any obligation of public worship continues indefinitely.  If anyone is over 60, or has any medical or mental condition that could put them at risk, you are encouraged to stay home.  All will be asked to make sure they do not have a fever or any (even non-COVID) symptoms in order to come into proximity with others.  All will be asked to bring their own masks and hand sanitizer.  I've been told that Walmart has stopped providing sanitizer because they simply can't afford the quantity of sanitizer that was being used.  Please be working on obtaining these items if you haven't already.

Bishop also asked that anyone who has responsibility to care for someone who might be at risk to take seriously the need to stay healthy and not put them at risk.  Masks and distancing aren't practiced to keep ourselves healthy, but to keep others protected from us, as none of us knows if we might be asymptomatic positive carriers.

We are also watching developments in children's cases, so I would caution parents (hopefully unnecessarily) about bringing children who move around rather than staying in the pew, if at all for now.  Maybe parents can come individually while one stays home with the children.  My parents did this when we were little because we couldn't sit still.

My purpose here might seem discouraging, but it isn't.  My point is to make sure that our actions don't endanger any parishioners.  Care must be our motive and caution our method.

We have a Liturgy Committee meeting this week and will be looking for parishioners who would be willing to help us as porters/ushers to help people to be seated according to the restrictions.  With six feet between individuals, we can only accommodate about 175 people at a Mass, so we will need to figure out what that looks like.  Also, the Mass schedule will need to adapt to the reality of seating people before Mass properly-distanced in the aisles and pews, dismissing the church section-by-section with proper distancing, and closing the church between Masses so the cleaning crew can come in and sanitize the pews and all surfaces which were touched by the people at a previous Mass.  We are in contact with parishes who are already opening this weekend (so much work in a short time) and pastors and Bishop will meet on Monday by Zoom to determine best practices.

I intend to produce a video this week which will be available by the end of the week, a virtual procedures demonstration of how people will enter church, be seated, come forward for Holy Communion, and be dismissed when Mass is over.  Unfortunately, there can be no pausing and visiting for a while.

I hope that this is going to help us all become people who are more aware of the care that others need from us even when we might be unaware of them.  So much of our health depends on the caution of others who are doing the right thing.

God bless you.

Streaming Masses and Announcements for the Week of 10 May 2020

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKDAY MASSES

Worship Aid for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for the Saturday after the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Friday after the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Thursday after the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Wednesday after the Fifth Sunday of Easter

         Worship Aid for the Wednesday after the Fifth Sunday of Easter (School Mass)

Community Mass for Tuesday after the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Monday after the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Mass for the Fifth Sunday of Easter
         Worship Aid for the Fifth Sunday of Easter

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

fleur cross logo Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries.The Second Collection this weekend is for Parish Special Needs. We humbly ask your continued financial support.  Please consider Faith Direct. Thank you for your generosity. 

fleur cross logo Our Parish Staff members are all working from home and standing by to receive your calls.  Let us know how we can serve you.  We're still here for you.

fleur cross logo Please consider our Catholic School.  We invite you to visit our Virtual Open House at our school Facebook page, facebook.com/stbernschool/videos, if you would like to see what we can do for your child. You are welcome to call our Saint Bernadette School office at 703-451-8696 to learn more.  Registration is open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.

fleur cross logo  Washington Lamb has informed us that effective this week they need to discontinue the food order/delivery program until further notice.  They have been experiencing difficulty in receiving deliveries on the supply side and must prioritize the normal demand for their primary restaurant clients to whom they are first contractually obligated.  They apologize for the suddenness of this announcement but want to let you know they are still offering their walk-in retail option to members.  Questions may be directed to 703-339-7000, info@washingtonlamb.com.

fleur cross logo For the Fairfax County Health Department's toolkit regarding mitigation of the coronavirus spread please see https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus/toolkit-slow-spread   To receive regular updates by text, you may text FFXCOVID to 888-777.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 10 May 2020

 

 

 

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Streaming Masses and Weekly Announcements for the week of 3 May 2020

STREAMING SUNDAY AND WEEKEND MASSES

Community Mass for Saturday after the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Friday after the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Thursday after the Fourth Sunday of Easter


Community Mass for Wednesday after the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Tuesday after the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Monday after the Fourth Sunday of Easter 


Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Easter
 

       Worship Aid for the Fourth Sunday of Easter


ANNOUNCEMENTS

fleur cross logo Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries.The Second Collection this weekend is for Parish Special Needs. We humbly ask your continued financial support.  Please consider Faith Direct. Thank you for your generosity. 

fleur cross logo Our Parish Staff members are all working from home and standing by to receive your calls.  Let us know how we can serve you.  We're still here for you.

fleur cross logo Please consider our Catholic School.  We invite you to visit our Virtual Open House at our school Facebook page, facebook.com/stbernschool/videos, if you would like to see what we can do for your child. You are welcome to call our Saint Bernadette School office at 703-451-8696 to learn more.  Registration is open for all classes, we hope to see you soon.

fleur cross logo Our Mothers’ Day Novena begins next Sunday with nine days of Masses for moms, grandmothers and anyone who has served in the role of mothers. It is still not too late to get your envelope in. Gift cards are available in the vestibule or download our Mother’s Day Novena Form from our parish website announcements page. Please name those you would like to remember with your donation on the envelope.

fleur cross logo The Second Collection next weekend is for Diocesan Retired Priests. They served us with their lives, let us help them now, later in life. Thank you for your generosity.

fleur cross logo Washington Lamb is partnering with organizations to get fresh meat, poultry and other essentials in family quantities at wholesale prices out to communities. This coming Thursday, May 7, Saint Bernadette Church  in Springfield, VA will host a pick-up event from 10am - 2pm. Below are fliers with a list of products being offered and pricing. Orders are placed, prepaid, and distributed utlizing no contact service, greatly reducing spread and contraction factors compared to traditional brick and mortar grocers. Prices are lower and the supply is guaranteed at the time of order. 

COVID 19 Relief Program Overview

Saint Bernadette Church - Thursday, May 7, 10am - 2pm 

Community Drop Pricing

fleur cross logo For the Fairfax County Health Department's toolkit regarding mitigation of the coronavirus spread please see https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus/toolkit-slow-spread   To receive regular updates by text, you may text FFXCOVID to 888-777.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 3 May 2020

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Streaming Masses and Announcements for the week of 26 April 2020

STREAMING WEEKDAY AND SUNDAY MASS

Community Mass for Saturday after the Third Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Friday after the Third Sunday of Easter 

Community Mass for Thursday after the Third Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Wednesday after the Third Sunday of Easter 

Community Mass for Tuesday after the Third Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Monday after the Third Sunday of Easter 

Mass for the Third Sunday of Easter
          Worship Aid for the Third Sunday of Easter

Taizé Ecumenical Prayer Service

Worship Aid for Taizé

 NO FACEBOOK ACCOUNT NEEDED TO VIEW DAILY AND SUNDAY MASSES, Just click on "Not Now"


ANNOUNCEMENTS

fleur cross logo  Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries.  We humbly ask your continued financial support.  Our Second Collection next weekend is for our  Catholic HOme Missions. Please consider Faith Direct - our parish code is VA70.  Thank you for your generosity.

fleur cross logo Washington Lamb is partnering with organizations to get fresh meat, poultry and other essentials in family quantities at wholesale prices out to communities. This coming Thursday, April 30, Saint Bernadette Church  in Springfield, VA will host a pick-up event from 10am - 2pm. Below are fliers with a list of products being offered and pricing. Orders are placed, prepaid, and distributed utlizing no contact service, greatly reducing spread and contraction factors compared to traditional brick and mortar grocers. Prices are lower and the supply is guaranteed at the time of order. 

COVID 19 Relief Program Overview

Saint Bernadette Church - Thursday, April 30, 10am - 2pm 

Community Drop Pricing

fleur cross logo The Catholic Home Missions Appeal second collection is today. Right now, over 40 percent of dioceses in the US are considered home missions because they are unable to fund essential pastoral work needed in their communities. Please prayerfully consider supporting this appeal and ease their struggle. More information can be found at usccb.org/home-missions.


fleur cross logo Our Parish Staff members are all working from home and standing by to receive your calls.  Let us know how we can serve you.  We're still here for you.

fleur cross logo Instead of our monthly TAIZE prayer service on Monday, April 27 at 8pm in the church, you are invited to join us in prayer online via our parish facebook page. Invite all your Christian friends to join us in this beautiful, peaceful ecumenical prayer service in the tradition of the Taizé Community in France.

fleur cross logo 
The Bishop’s Lenten Appeal continues  and we are asking every household in our parish to support this appeal to the extent you are able.   BLA funds are restricted gifts that provide many programs, services and ministries that serve people in need—now, more than ever—and may not be used for any other purpose.

fleur cross logo Due to current circumstances, we ask that you convert your CRS Rice Bowl donation to a check and mail it to the Parish office. This will greatly assist in counting of the funds, and forwarding them on to Catholic Relief Services. Please note in the memo line CRS Rice Bowl, otherwise please place the funds in a sealed envelope and drop it through the mail slot at the parish office with a note CRS Rice Bowl.

fleur cross logo Mass Intentions are still available.  In fact, we have many Masses scheduled without intentions.  You can find a request form for Mass intentions on the Announcements page of the website.  Or, just call the office.

fleur cross logo Updated information for Fairfax County Health Department Toolkit and CDC Guidelines for those persons at Higher Risk has been added to the sidebar.Text FFXCOVID to 888-777 for regular updates.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 26 April 2020

 Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Can you recall the first Earth Day 50 years ago?  I can.  We had just moved to our new house in the Kansas suburbs and our new school, Cure of Ars, had a tree-planting ceremony in the afternoon. Even then we already knew we needed to treat the earth better.  At that point we had commercials on television begging people not to throw their trash out of their car windows as they drove past the crying Native American chief.

So, we have made some progress.  Most people have accepted the concept of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” if not the practice.  But Pope Francis’ words this past week should get our attention.  In his catechesis on Wednesday, the pope said Earth Day was “an occasion for renewing our commitment to love and care for our common home and for the weaker members of our human family.”  “As the tragic coronavirus pandemic has taught us, we can overcome global challenges only by showing solidarity with one another and embracing the most vulnerable in our midst.”  It requires a new way of looking at the earth, not as a “storehouse of resources for us to exploit,” but as a sacred gift for sustaining all of humanity. 

Care for the earth is necessary to care for each other.

This week I dialed in to an online dialogue between Buddhists and Catholics on the topic of care for creation, and there were many convergences of message between the contributors.  Here are a few which I found to be significant and relevant:
                          •  When we put vulnerable populations at risk because of our selfishness, the resulting social and environmental injustice is morally wrong.

                          •  Consumerism is the fastest growing world religion that actually contradicts all other world religions.  It is the replacement of the divine with the self.

                          •  We are living as if our resources are not finite.  Why is more and more always better if it will never be enough?  And are these resources a means to an end, or a responsibility?

We are being challenged here, at that time when we “reopen” as a world community, to decide to open again to a better reality than before.  Our old ways of excess and ignorance need to be replaced with a heightened sense that God is calling us to be good stewards of the fragile reality of our life on this earth. 

It is time to consider him as an integral part of this picture, not only as Creator, but also the Sustainer upon whom we depend entirely.  I once heard a priest in a homily say that our entire existence is dependence on God.  If he stopped thinking of us for an instant we would no longer be.  But we are trained from a very early age that our existence is independence and we are consumed with the ideas of fairness and rights.  Again, this sense of entitlement is unfounded, a fiction.  But even if we have such rights, Saint Thomas says, they come with a corresponding duty.  That duty is justice, and a practical part of the virtue of justice is religion:  giving what is due to the Author of rights.

We have a lot to do here at Saint Bernadette, even to act on the “reduce, reuse, recycle” practice.  Going “zero waste” is a lifestyle journey that is possible, but not immediate.  We need to start with little steps imagining how we might use less, and produce less trash. 
 
A sign went up in our staff break room which I first found annoying but it grows on you.  It quotes Mother Teresa saying that you must wash your plate not because it is dirty, but because you love the next person that will use it.  Such instructions might be posted because somebody is tired of finding a sink full of dirty plates, but it reveals the same message of Pope Francis this week:  the focus of our lifestyles must not be only ourselves, but for others.  What we do must benefit others first, and a kind of servant leadership begins to emerge.  Sounds familiar, right?  I did not come to be served, but to serve... and to give my life...

When I was a kid we were expected to memorize poems, and one of my childhood memories is Joyce Kilmer's “Trees.” 
 
I think that I shall never see 
                            A poem lovely as a tree...
                            Poems are made by fools like me, 
                            But only God can make a tree.


I'm not a tree-hugger as such, but I have always marveled at the beauty of trees in any season, their architecture in winter, the subtlety in early spring and the grand finish in the fall.  I notice them, and am grateful for them.  There were early seeds planted in me—whether by planting a tree on that first Earth Day or because we memorized poetry, or living on a farm where I had time to reflect—to notice.  In a time of solitude, your senses sharpen and your thoughts can help redirect actions.  May we take advantage of this time of extra time to reflect, evaluate, and reshape the practice of our lives, focusing on others.

God bless you.

Mass and Weekly Announcements for 19 April 2020

WEEKDAY and SUNDAY MASSES

Community Mass for Saturday after the Second Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for Friday after the Second Sunday of Easter 

Community Mass for Thursday after the Second Sunday of Easter 

Community Mass for Wednesday after the Second Sunday of Easter 

Community Mass for Tuesday after the Second Sunday of Easter

Community Mass for the Solemnity of Saint Bernadette 
     Worship Aid for the Solemnity of Saint Bernadette 

NO FACEBOOK ACCOUNT NEEDED TO VIEW DAILY AND SUNDAY MASSES, Just click on "Not Now"


ANNOUNCEMENTS (español)


fleur cross logo  Times are uncertain but we rely on your offering to the weekly collection to continue parish ministries.  We humbly ask your continued financial support.  Our Second Collection next weekend is for our  Catholic HOme Missions. Please consider Faith Direct - our parish code is VA70.  Thank you for your generosity.

fleur cross logo CATHOLIC CHARITIES St. Lucy Project is in GREAT NEED OF FOOD!

As we are all aware, unfortunately there can be no parish food drives until regular public Masses resume.  However, in his "shelter-in-place" order, our Governor has declared that food banks are an essential service; and the need for food to feed families in our communities is even greater now than ever.  On Friday, April 24th, St. Bernadette will be participating in a new and creative St. Lucy Food Drive Project - “NO CROWD - DROP AND GO - NO CONTACT - Drive-Thru Food Drive”.  Here is how it will work: A St. Lucy Food truck will be parked on our parish parking lot from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm to receive food donations. Parishioners will line up in their cars (NO CROWD), drive up to the truck, roll down their driver-side windows, DROP the plastic bag (no cloth bags please) in a large box without leaving their car, and then GO (drive off).  Catholic Charities staff will stay with the truck (NO CONTACT) and drive the truck back to their warehouse for safe distribution to those in need.  There will be no physical contact between the driver and the St. Lucy staff and no one will need to leave their car.  We hope you can drive-thru and help those in desperate need during this time.  For those who may wish to support the program with a financial donation, please make checks payable to CCDA with St. Lucy Project in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Catholic Charities, 8426 Kao Circle, Manassas, VA 20110. Many thanks and blessings. Click here for the LIST OF ITEMS NEEDED.

fleur cross logo Washington Lamb is partnering with organizations to get fresh meat, poultry and other essentials in family quantities at wholesale prices out to communities. This coming Thursday, April 23, Saint Bernadette Church  in Springfield, VA will host a pick-up event from 10am - 2pm. Below are fliers with a list of products being offered and pricing. Orders are placed, prepaid, and distributed utlizing no contact service, greatly reducing spread and contraction factors compared to traditional brick and mortar grocers. Prices are lower and the supply is guaranteed at the time of order. 

COVID 19 Relief Program Overview

Saint Bernadette Church - Thursday, April 23, 10am - 2pm 

Community Drop Pricing

fleur cross logo 
Due to current circumstances, we ask that you convert your CRS Rice Bowl donation to a check and mail it to the Parish office. This will greatly assist in counting of the funds, and forwarding them on to Catholic Relief Services. Please note in the memo line CRS Rice Bowl, otherwise please place the funds in a sealed envelope and drop it through the mail slot at the parish office with a note CRS Rice Bowl.

fleur cross logo Divine Mercy Devotions are scheduled online for 3pm on the Second Sunday of Easter, today, Sunday, April 19.

fleur cross logo Please join us for the Feast of Saint Bernadette, which will be celebrated this year with a special Mass on Monday morning, April 20, at 8am. A worship aid is available for the Mass on the parish website announcement page. 

fleur cross logo Mass Intentions are still available.  In fact, we have many Masses scheduled without intentions.  You can find a request form for Mass intentions on the Announcements page of the website.  Or, just call the office.

fleur cross logo Updated information for Fairfax County Health Department Toolkit and CDC Guidelines for those persons at Higher Risk has been added to the sidebar.Text FFXCOVID to 888-777 for regular updates.

Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 19 April 2020

 Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

Happy Easter, everyone!  Our celebration of life continues through the Octave:  today is as much Easter Sunday as eight days ago.  It is a practice that comes from our Judaic roots, that the presence of God in the Shabbat (Saturday) cannot be contained by 24 hours.  This day is literally bigger than a day, so it begins with sunset on the evening before.  We have the same observance.  The Lord’s day is bigger than 24 hours, so we have the Vigil on Saturday evening when Sunday begins.  What Sunday is to the week, Easter is to the year, and it cannot be contained even within seven days, and is therefore celebrated as an octave of eight days.  We celebrate risen life on Easter and every Sunday.

Christ our hope has arisen.  Pope Francis spoke on Easter Sunday about the contagion of hope, something that passes from heart to heart because we are somehow wired to hear this Good News and we wait for it, we long for it.  Hope is something that helps us through the difficult times—not to avoid the Cross—but to pass through it.  Because we know, in Christ, we can.  He already has.  Pope Francis says this is the unique hallmark of the power of God.  He opens paths in the abyss, he transforms evil into good.  

This message is revealed also in the visible, risen Body of Christ.  “The Risen Lord is also the Crucified One, not someone else.  In his glorious body he bears indelible wounds:  wounds that have become windows of hope.  Let us turn our gaze to him that he may heal the wounds of an afflicted humanity.”

Let’s sit for a bit on this idea of our woundedness.  All of us have lived through some very difficult, traumatic times.  Certainly, there are events and tragedies that define an age.  World Wars, the World Trade Center, now this pandemic.  Themselves traumatic, it is possible that these events compound your personal experience by drawing on past trauma or abuse, or danger at the hands of others.  These wounds are real, perhaps more profound than physical wounds.  But they, themselves, do not define who we are; what we decide to do with them is what determines us.  We don’t minimize their impact or deny their reality, and we can’t judge others by comparing experiences.  Each person’s worst is truly their worst.  But healing comes through our ability to share our stories and humbly offer and receive compassion and healing from each other.  

It is the hope of resurrection that always allows us to look beyond the moment.  This is the irresistible message of the Gospel, shown to us by Christ himself, in his own suffering and death.  We are invited into that Body of Christ, whose wounds are the instrument of belief.  To Thomas:  “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side,and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”  Finally, Thomas is able to share the contagious excitement of the other Apostles when they greeted him with “We have seen the Lord!”

The intensity of their exuberant proclamation of resurrection is built on and informed by the deep footings of their trauma and despair only several days before when they witnessed the destruction and darkness of the same Person who stands before them.  It is the wounds that ground them:  there is no way that these two can be separated in their minds.

You and I are the Body of Christ.  Remember the early catecheses of many Fathers of the first centuries speaking to those who had been recently received into the Church through the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil:  “come forward, Christian, and receive that which you are...”  Our holy communion with each other is the community of life and love which is formed by the wounds we have experienced together, in and through Christ.  Saint Paul says to the Romans how nothing can separate us from the love of God: not calamity, or persecution, or hunger or poverty, nor pandemic.  Overwhelming victory, he says is ours through Christ, who loved us first (Rom 8:35-37).  United in this love of God, nothing can separate us from each other, either, unless we will it.

Pope Francis, in his Easter message, continues in this vein.  Only we can allow this to come apart, and these are the attitudes we must avoid:  indifference, self-centeredness, division, and forgetfulness.  All of these are opposites of the love which unites our wounds with the glory of God himself.  Only we can allow fear and death to overwhelm, “if we do not let the Lord Jesus triumph in our hearts and lives.”

He concludes:  “May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of suffering humanity and lead us to the light of his glorious day, a day that knows no end.  With these thoughts, I would like to wish all of you a happy Easter.”

God bless you.

 

 

Adoration


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