A Letter From Fr. Paul - March 29, 2020
I am writing this on March 22, so much might have changed by the time you read this. Please visit our web page, www.stpiusparish.org, for updates on what is happening. Please note that we are taping the weekend Mass and you can find it on the webpage. We continue to pray for all affected by the virus and its consequences. If you are aware of homebound people, I urge you to call them and speak with them, providing some human comfort and interaction.
The deadline for taking the Disciple Maker Index survey has been moved to April 5th. If you have not yet filled it out, please do so ASAP. Every parishioner over 18 years old is asked to do it, not just one per family. Thank you.
This weekend we have the story of Lazarus being brought back to life by Jesus. There are two points I would like to make:
First, notice that Martha makes her profession of faith BEFORE Lazarus comes back to life. Her belief was not based on the presumption that Jesus would bring her brother back. She believed because of who Jesus was, not what He could do for her. Our faith gives us comfort in this uncertain time.
Second, when Lazarus comes out of the tomb, Jesus says to the bystanders, “untie him and let him go.”
That is what Jesus is saying to us during Lent: “roll away the stones so you can be untied and set free.” What are the bonds of addiction, slander, gossip, envy, prejudices, and hatred that hold us down? What are the feelings of worry, resentment, guilt, or despair from which we need to be freed? As He did for Lazarus, Jesus wants to roll away the stone that keeps us entombed, He wants to untie the cords that hold us bound, He wants to set us free to be happy and joyful followers. He says, “Paul, come forth.” “Mary, come forth.” “Alfredo, come forth.” “(Insert your name), come forth.”
Reflection: in this last week before we enter the holiest week of our Church year, let us ask ourselves what cords still bind us and hold us down? What practically can we plan to do so that these cords are unbound and we can joyfully enter in Holy Week and the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus? To put it another way, as St. Irenaeus noted, “the glory of God is the human person fully alive.” What in me is dying or dead? What is tying me down and keeping me from being fully alive? What practically can I plan to do to set myself free so I can joyfully enter into Holy Week and the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus?
And let us support each other in prayer as we struggle to “come forth” and be the best that we can be!
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