Today is Friday…Sunday is the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. Normally, we would pray the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary today and then turn our attention to the abundance of God’s love all around us and within us as we honor the Trinity. Nothing is normal today. The truth of the COVID-19 pandemic had just sunk into our consciousness; we had just begun to imagine a little way out of our “stay at home,” including the opportunity for public worship; and now we see streets filled with protesters and other streets marred by rioters, even all around us in our parish. I suspect in our prayer we have all uttered, “Lord, this is too much.”
Jesus’ proclamation of the Gospel began with the deepest, most profound and always true, “The Kingdom of God is at hand; the Kingdom of God is within you.” That was true when he calls his first disciples; that is true when he preaches his sermon on the mount; that is true when he carries his cross; that is true when he dies on the cross; and it is true when he is raised from the dead. It is true whenever we choose to love.
Whether it is federal troops on horseback throwing pepper balls into crowds of protesters or young raging lost men breaking windows in Johnnie’s Market, we are seeing signs of a shattering all around us; indeed the “foundations are shaking…(Is. 6:3-4).” In our own lives, in our community, in our culture, in our country and, indeed, throughout the world, something is ready to be born; the corollary is also true: something is dying. We naturally cling to what is no longer able to sustain us because it has sustained us until now. By God’s grace, however, we find the strength to let go, even to journey more deeply into the heart of darkness, to descend more honestly into the very center of the wound. Only then can we greet the dawn; only then can we heal the wound.
This moment is a poignant and painful revelation of the Paschal Mystery we celebrate in every Eucharist and the mystery of life and love we are called to trust in every moment. God is with us; God is for us; God is within us; God is on the cross; God is risen from the dead. The two or three lost souls who broke into Johnnie’s Market are not more powerful than the love poured out by the community to keep the market open.
It is impossible for us to know the gravity of a wound which has been inflicted harshly over the centuries. There is no excuse for anyone to do harm to another. The buying and selling of millions of African Slaves all over the world for over three hundred years is deep wound which festers in the psyche of every living soul in the world. Not one of us living now is responsible for slavery. And we must take responsibility for healing the wound. The next few steps in that journey of healing, which alone can bring peace and justice, will be further descent. If we descend with faith, with love, with hope, with courage and together with all our brothers and sisters, we know God will accompany us and raise us up.
While it seems all around us is collapsing, we know, in the depths of our souls, that God is making all things new. I commend to you this beautiful interview with Blanca, especially her powerful song, “Shattered.” And let me just say again, listening to JoyFM can be healing in itself. God’s word is woven through every song.
We will continue our Eucharistic Procession this evening, Friday, at 6:00. And we will continue the procession until Christ’s peace reings in all our hearts and everywhere in our community.
Please know my love for you and my desire to work with you for the healing and peace God is ready to bring into our lives and the lives of all our brothers and sisters. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.