From the desk of Fr. Barry:
It’s been five weeks now of being under the “Stay at Home” order, and there’s still an uncertainty to when it will really end. I have to say, I’m pretty tired of it. I need a haircut, haven’t been able to see my family in Rapids, can’t visit parishioners in the hospital or nursing homes, and most of all, miss seeing each of you at Mass. I’ve struggled with coming up ways to stay more in touch. I’ve doubted my ability of being creative in ways that reach out. I’ve wondered what more can I be doing!
Then I read the readings for this weekend. The Responsorial Psalm tells us, “Lord, you will show us the path to life.” And through all of this I see we have to look past what is currently going on, the Lord still has a plan for all of this, he is still showing us that path!
In our Gospel passage from Luke, we hear the famous Road to Emmaus Walk, Jesus is walking with two disciples who don’t recognize him. The journey together leads them to discover how their hearts burned with them but only after Jesus departs them, only after they break bread together.
But this story is deeper than it might seem on the surface. You see, in many ways, this story teaches us truths about the spiritual life. First, our spiritual life is a kind of journey, an active thing, a moving down a path toward a destination. Secondly, on this journey we are not alone --- we have each other, but most importantly, we have Jesus, our God, who is making the journey with us, whether we are aware of it or not. And thirdly, this Jesus we call our Savior, wants nothing more than to commune with us, be with us, teach us, guide us and help us connect the dots of our own individual stories with his. He wants us to know he is with us and will always be.
That my friends is the hope that has pulled me out of the stooper I have been in. The hope that our Lord does in deed walk with us each and every day. In the good, and in the not so good. In time of difficulties and in the joys we celebrate. As we have been livestreaming our daily and weekend Masses, I see that he does indeed walk with us. Before all this happened, our normal daily Mass attendance was between 15 to 30 people. When we finish Mass now, we have 50 to 80 people watching live, and by the time I go to bed we have over 300 that have viewed the Mass. That to me is proof that Christ is among us!
On another positive note, construction is full speed ahead. The basement and garage have been poured and by the end of the week, you’ll see frame work going up! God’s hand is in this my friends, everything has gone so smoothly. We didn’t sign a contract until March thinking that we wouldn’t be able to start till after spring, but with cancellations we were moved first in line. That is no coincidence!
My friends stay positive, look for Christ in those places you wouldn’t have before. He is there, HE HAS RISEN, and his comforting each of us, is what will get us through this.
God Bless, Fr. Barry