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Contents: Volume 2 - Easter Triduum - C
April 17, 2022

 

  2022

EASTER

TRIDUUM

(C)

 

1. -- Lanie LeBlanc OP

2. -- Carol & Dennis Keller

3. -- Brian Gleeson CP

4. -- Paul O'Reilly SJ

5. --(Your reflection can be here!)

 

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Triduum 2022

Holy Thursday

In today's Gospel, Jesus tells the apostles and us "as I have done for you, you should also do." His words specifically applied to serving and caring for others. I think they also apply to other ways in which Jesus modeled for us the way we should live. Among other things, I think that includes Jesus's prayer life, how he interacted with those on the margins of his society at the time, his determination to do the will of the Father, and his unwavering internal compass that always pointed toward guidance and forgiveness. Jesus's actions were life-changing... how will they affect us and the people we meet?

Good Friday

As always, my reading/hearing such familiar Scripture readings focuses on something I had not encountered before or that invokes a deeper meaning. This year, I am struck by several parts that move the narrative to the divine fulfillment that had been so willingly accepted by Jesus. In the Garden, Jesus identifies himself twice as "I AM' because the first time, the band of soldiers and guards "turned and fell away". I was also struck by the number of things Pilate tried to do to set Jesus free. It was indeed the Father's love for us sinners that we know "upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed." In this day of sadness, "let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help."

Easter Vigil/ Easter Sunday

The seven Old Testament readings give witness to the unconditional love of God throughout the ages. We are also told in the letter to the Romans that "just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,

we too might live in newness of life." What newness of life do we and our world need right now? As we rejoice this evening, during the day, and throughout the Easter Season, I think it is important to reflect on the new opportunities that we have been given by the Passion and Resurrection.

Not much has changed about some things since the Resurrection narratives. In both the Gospel for the Vigil and Easter Day, women were given the opportunity by God to be the first witnesses of the empty tomb, but their account was viewed by the males as "nonsense" and disbelief. Good for Peter who checked it out at least, and then believed. Yay for Pope Francis who continues to open the doors and windows of the church to women and to the marginalized children of God through rearranging the advising and governing structures in the Vatican and, of course, the Synod. Let us rejoice this day that " we the church" are moving closer to the vision of God for all of us, God's equally loved children. Let us be open to making opportunities for all more of a reality. Let it begin with us.

Blessings,

Dr. Lanie LeBlanc OP

Southern Dominican Laity

lanie@leblanc.one

 

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Easter Vigil April 16 2022

There are seven possible readings from the Hebrew Scriptures ("Hebrew" seems more accurate than "Old" as despite the fact that the Hebrew Scriptures predate the Christian Scriptures, they are not old in the sense of being irrelevant. As a matter of truth, those Hebrew Scriptures are necessary for understanding the arc of God’s working with his Creation). At the vigil – because of the length of that wonderful service – only five are necessary. We have listed all seven here and encourage readers to take time to read each of these – especially if unable or unwilling to attend the long, long, long Vigil Service. The notes below each are meant only as a focal point for reading and not a complete explanation of those readings.

1st: Genesis 1:1- 2:2; Responsorial Psalm 104

This reading is an account of Creation that presents creation as coming from the Word of God and including in the very first verse the Spirit of God hovering over the chaos that was unbridled oceans. It is meant not as a literal presentation of how all came to be but to present the physical world and humanity as God’s marvelous gift to his creation – the focus on light and life is apparent. Enjoy it for its imagery and the message of physical goodness as contrary to much ranting about the evil of physical reality. God is good and only goodness can spring from his Word. One warning: humanity has dominion over all that is – doesn’t mean abuse of but is in ancient thinking "the care and nurturing of." For it is God’s will that all creation "has what it needs to flourish." That is also what is meant by God’s justice.

2nd: Genesis 22:1-18; Responsorial Psalm 16

This is the "binding of Isaac" story as named by Judaism. They look at this as a test of Abraham’s obedience. Perhaps there is more to this story than that. The Canaanites had a practice of dedicating the first born to the god Moloch. That sacrifice was conducted by casting the first-born male into a fiery furnace. Perhaps this was a way of Abraham coming to realize that God would never ask such a sacrifice. Even so, many think of this willingness to sacrifice his only son as an example of God’s love for his creation in that he would allow his only son to be murdered if that is what it took for the message of the mission of the Word to be effective. As Jesus’ prophetic mission was a threat to the status of many in those days as well as ours today.

3rd: Exodus 14:15 – 15:1; Responsorial Psalm Exodus 15:1-2, 3-4,5-6,17-18

Who wants to leave what is comfortable even if where one is then what can cause a change? So many of us are addicted to system, to harmful attitudes, to harmful habits that we cannot find our way out of such terrible conditions to leave. Pharoah is not named by design. Pharoah stands for all that would bind us, would limit our growth of spirit, which would kill creativity, and our joy and sense of gratitude. Moses leads the people away, but is stopped by a sea. Going through the waters of the sea is a foretaste of baptism. In a sense what they have left behind on the banks of the sea is all that has limited them from being all they could be. Listen carefully how all this plays out. What we leave behind that enslaves us is left in the middle of the sea to be destroyed. The beautiful responsorial song of celebration is the song of Miriam.

4th: Isaiah 54;5-14; Responsorial Psalm 30

This reading is from the second part of the prophet Isaiah. This is the part, you may remember, that reflects the time of the Jews in the Babylonian Captivity. This is the second great liberation for the Chosen People – the first in the previous reading the one from Pharoah of Egypt. Isaiah presents the nation as the bride of God. If the nation is the Bride of God, then the nation is the one who takes care of the economy of the home. She it is who bears the children, feeds, clothes, houses, and invests in productive lands for the welfare of the family. She spins wool and flax for their clothing. In as sense Isaiah is telling these people in Exile they have behaved as an adulterous wife that got them in trouble and captivity. It was their choices but even so God loves his bride.

5th: Isaiah 55:1-11; Responsorial Psalm 12

This also is from the second part of the prophet Isaiah. It is an interesting contrast to the preceding narrative from Isaiah. This reading tells the people and us that God is always present, no matter the joy, no matter the sorrow, no matter the health, no matter the illness. God is like water that refreshes and brings life to the desert. God is like bread that is food and nourishment for hungry souls. What a beautifully written encouragement to look for God in his work. We would like to see God’s face, hear their voice, touch their creative triune hand, smell the wonder of God’s presence, and taste the delight of his nourishment. All you who thirst come to the water and drink! All you who hunger, come and eat without cost. This is almost too much to comprehend. This is a thought and a presence to wallow in. We see God when we look for God’s presence in creation, in relationships, in the forces of nature, and especially in the love we share with one another.

6th: Baruch 3:9-15, 32 – 4:4; Responsorial Psalm 19

Baruch is thought to be the secretary to the prophet Jeremiah. He presents God in detail by speaking about the Creation of God. Typically, we take for granted what our senses tell us and share with our intellect. But there is more to reality than what is apparent. If we pay attention we will see the fingers of God at work, constantly calling, constantly supporting us. But we’ve got to look with the senses given us by faith in order to know God’s presence there.

7th: Ezekiel 36:16-17 & 18-28; Responsorial Psalm 51

The behavior of the Chosen Nation has brought upon the nation horrors of war, of slaughter, of all sorts of devastation. They people have been so evil and wicked in their attitudes toward others, toward the earth, toward all of creation, and to the worship of God. But God relents because of his name – that is Yahweh – which means "I am who is with you at all times." Because of his self-given name God cannot do other than relent or else God would be lying in claiming that name. God would not be Wholly – or how we spell that "holy" if he falsified even his self-naming.

Romans 6:3-11; Responsorial Psalm 118

Paul is certainly being Paul in this reading from his letter to the Romans. He insists that we are resurrected along with Jesus because we were baptized IN the Lord. "IN the Lord" seems a strange idiom. What could he mean? He says elsewhere, "I live now not I, but Christ lives in me." Is this what it means? It’s like Paul says elsewhere – "Jesus was obedient unto death, even death on the cross." Does this imply that the Father was angry, and that Jesus placated that anger by dying that horrifically painful and shameful death? The word obedient seems out of place. What Paul means is that Jesus was aligned completely unto and through death to his prophetic mission. His mission was to liberate people who chose to follow him into fullness of life – not only there but also now. That is the continual message of Jesus’ preaching and healing. It is all about liberation – listen in the middle of reading this part of the letter to the Romans "that we may no longer be in slavery to sin." There is that liberation theme we find in the first readings for this holiest of nights. When we are baptized IN him, we leave our sinful hearts content on the banks of the sea through which Moses led those Hebrews.

Luke 24:1-12

After forty days of fasting, prayer and almsgiving, this gospel is a welcome scene. It was dawning into a bright sky when the women from Galilee brought the spices for a proper burial. How shocked they were to see the stone that covered the rock-hewn tomb rolled away. They went in to find Jesus’ body and it was not there. The apparition of two men in dazzling garments had them terrified and they fell to the anointed through his resurrection, as the Christ. "Why do you seek the living among the dead?" That is what we must think about. Do we worship a dead man, or do we see and comprehend instead a man very much alive and recreated? Is that how we think of Jesus? That is what Jesus anointed the Christ is to us, a living and vibrant model and teacher and healer and prophet.

Easter Sunday April 17 2022

Acts10:thirty-four & 37-43; Responsorial Psalm 118; Colossians 3:1-4; Sequence Victimae Paschalis; Gospel Acclamation 1st Corinthians 5:7-8; John 20:1-9

The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles written by Luke. It is out of place but intentionally chosen for the first reading this Easter. The preaching by Peter actually occurs after the Spirit has ignited their hearts and healed their weaknesses and fear. The reading is Peter confirming the faith of the other disciples and revealing to the people gathered the fiftieth day after Passover the fulfillment of the prophets’ words and works recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures. Again, in the beginning of the Easter season, Peter speaks about liberation, about healing, about knocking off the chains of slavery or addiction or idol worship of wealth, power, or influence.

Paul writing to the Colossians tells us to go behind what we know with our senses and seek out the deeper meaning of the death of Jesus in the light of his Resurrection. "Seek what is above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God." In short, do not get trapped by that which has enslaved you and made your living miserable and anxious. Look beyond that which seems the rewards of the whole and look more to the rewards that come from following in the way of the Christ. Just what is that way? In the coming Sundays of the Easter Season, we will be given the answers to those questions. That is why skipping out on a Sunday or two reduces the chances of getting it right and retaining one’s liberation from what robs us of the freedom that is the inheritance of the Daughters and Sons of God. In any listening to the Scriptures, Hebrew or Christian, we got to engage our hearts so that our ears get into the thickness and meaning of words. We become so accustomed to "code words" that we glide over words with depth and intensity. We end up mumbling formulas that lack the power to lift us up. Be awake, open our hearts – that’s Paul’s message here.

Ah, comes the magnificent sequence. The poetry there is wonderful. We’ve of necessity need to let the images flood our minds and make their way into our hearts. If you have a couple of minutes of spare time, go to You Tube and listen to the ancient melodies applied top this sequence. It would be listed under Victimae Paschali Laudes. Despite a lack of Latin ability, the melodies and the poetry of the Latin will move you.

Then comes the gospel this time of John. The poetry continues as John uses his magic to paint a scene for us. He says Magdala came to the tomb but later indicates more than she came there. These women came unafraid. The hurried burial to avoid profaning the Sabbath did not show complete respect to the body of Jesus and they were committed to righting that flaw. They discovered the body absent. It was Mary Magdala who ran to tell Peter, someone had stolen Jesus’ body. Who would do such a thing? Grave robbers? The only thing of value there was the burial cloth and the face covering and it had been left. Was it those who condemned Jesus, seeking to make a public spectacle of him? That was hardly possible as they condemned him for his prophecy of saying he would rise in three days. Who could have done this terrible thing?

I have to laugh, being of advanced age to see that John, the younger, ran faster than Peter. I can picture the two of them, the space between them widening as they rushed along the path to the tomb. John would have known where the tomb was because he was a witness on Golgotha. He would have helped Joseph of Arimathea take down Jesus body and carry it to the unused tomb. Peter goes into the tomb followed by John. It is an amazing thing that it says that John went into the tomb after Peter, an argument used frequently to justify the primacy of Peter in the Community of the Church. When John went in, "he saw and believed."

Did that mean that John first came to understand the words of preparation Jesus had given the apostles? Does it mean that Peter still did not quite get the whole picture of what had happened? Put ourselves there – knowing as we all do of someone who died. Going to the funeral parlor and discovering they are absent. What would we think if that were to happen? So, with Peter. We know that later this Sunday of the Resurrection that Jesus came through the walls of the upper room where the last supper had been. No door opened, yet it was apparent he was flesh and bone. It is no wonder that his first words were, "Peace be with you. Do not be afraid." Put ourselves in that room this Sunday, remembering the passion accounts we have heard this week. What goes through your minds? What do you believe?

Dennis Keller dkeller002@nc.rr.com

 

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RISING WITH JESUS TO THE NEW LIFE OF EASTER

Acts 10:34, 37-43; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; John 20:1-9

When my father died quite suddenly when I was away in Belgium studying, my mother wrote that she was devastated. and that her life would never be, and could never be, the same again. All of us, facing the death of someone we love face a horrible and indescribable loss, along with feelings of absence and emptiness. One sometimes hears grieving people say: "I’m simply gutted."

For some persons, their feelings of loss are so great that they deny what has happened. They think they hear the footsteps of their loved one on the path outside or coming down the stairs, or turning the key in the front door.

When Mary Magdalen goes to visit the tomb of Jesus, it’s very early on Sunday, the first day of the week. It’s still dark but there’s enough light to see that the stone has already been moved from the entrance to the tomb. But she is not in any kind of denial. She expects to come face to face with death. Not for a moment does she kid herself that Jesus is no longer dead. Instead, surely persons unknown must have stolen and hidden his body, and will not let him rest in peace.

She talks about her experience with Simon Peter and the anonymous Beloved Disciple. Together they race to the tomb. When Peter enters the tomb, he sees at first only the burial clothes. But when the disciple Jesus particularly loved enters the tomb he sees more. He sees what faith sees. Jesus is not dead but alive. Maybe he has figured out that if people had stolen the body they would not have taken the trouble to roll up the burial clothes. More likely, it’s simply his belief in the greatness, goodness, and uniqueness of Jesus that leaves him convinced that God would not and could not leave him for dead. In any case, we are told simply that "he saw and he believed".

What we are celebrating today in the resurrection, then, is first of all the power of God’s liberating love for his dear Son. His resurrection is God the Father’s answer to all those wicked men who murdered Jesus on the cross and expected him to stay dead and buried forever.

In raising Jesus from the dead, God raised and revived every story Jesus told, every truth Jesus taught, every value Jesus stood for, every choice Jesus made, and every purpose he pursued. Everything about him and his history was given new life, new meaning, and new relevance.

So, the resurrection of Jesus is not a hysterical invention by people who refused to accept the death of their Leader. After all, his first followers were simply not expecting it. So much so that when they caught sight of him alive again they were gobsmacked. They could hardly believe their eyes and ears. But they had to accept the plain fact that there was Jesus, raised in his body, alive and well before their very eyes, and that all this had happened through the unbounded power of God’s love for his Son.

What we are also celebrating today is our resurrection from the dead, our resurrection from deadly deeds, or at least our resurrection from anything less than the best, the most honest, the most authentic, the most generous, and the most loving ways of living our lives. We are recognizing that not only is Jesus Christ alive now in himself, but he is also alive in us - alive in us through the presence, power, and action of the Holy Spirit, his second self.

After all, It was through the Spirit within him that Jesus "went about doing good and curing all who were in the power [of evil]" (Acts 10:38). It is through that same Spirit, coming from our Risen Lord, that you and I can hope to think like him, act like him, live like him, die like him, and rise like him.

So, here and now on this Easter Day, let us encourage one another to respond to the power of the Holy Spirit among us by renewing our baptismal promises and renewing them sincerely and enthusiastically. Let us reject darkness, evil, and sin in every shape and form. Let us promise to follow Jesus in a life of light, goodness, and love, a life shaped by his example. So, with trust in the mighty Spirit of Jesus within us and among us, let us here and now renew our Baptismal Promises, and renew them loudly, clearly, and sincerely!

"Brian Gleeson CP" <bgleesoncp@gmail.com>

 

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Year A,B,C: Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper

"Not my feet, Lord, surely."

Why the feet?

Well, after a while working with homeless people I think I may know.

All of us have parts of ourselves of which we are ashamed. All of us have parts of our bodies which are not shaped or colored as we would wish.

All of us have parts of our minds which are not as calm, relaxed, even-tempered as we would like to pretend.

All of us have parts of our histories which we would wish to forget and wish even more that others would forget. One of my brothers in the Lord has yet to live down a moment twenty years ago when he fell asleep during a homily – something which wouldn’t have been quite so bad if he hadn’t been the one giving the homily.

Homeless people are commonly filled with shame. It is often what kills them. And the bit they are generally most ashamed of is the feet. These are feet that hit a lot of pavement, that stand on a lot on street corners, that sweat a lot in hot weather, that never get dry in wet weather, that never get warm in cold weather, that never get clean in any weather. And it is part of the definition of an apostle that she or he has no final resting place except in the Lord; no true home but the road. So, perhaps it is not a surprise that the first twelve apostles are a bit reticent about their feet.

When I worked with the Wapisana tribe - an Amerindian community in the Amazon, we once had a meeting with some of the lay church leaders about how we could make the Sunday service reflect more closely their particular Amerindian culture.

I should explain: the Rupununi is a parish the size of Wales – about 5,000 square miles. And in that parish, there are about 15,000 Catholics spread over 53 small villages, each with their own little church and their own lay Church leader. Obviously, with three priests spread over 53 communities hundreds of miles apart, a priest can only visit them at most once a month. So it is really important for the people that when they come together on a Sunday morning, they really feel that God is present among them. So we really wanted to work with the lay leaders on making the Sunday prayer services really express the life and presence of God within the community.

So one of the first questions that came up was how to perform a welcoming ceremony at the start. What would – within that particular culture and that particular context - be a meaningful expression of God’s welcome to His People?

So, to keep it local and relevant, we asked them: "What does the Touchau - the village chief - say when visitors from another village come to see him."

And they thought about that for a little while. And the answer came back: "He says: ‘Kaimen’ - a word that means ‘Hello’."

And we asked: "But, doesn’t he say anything else?"

And they talked for a little while among themselves and the answer came back: "No, not really. He just says ‘Kaimen’ - ‘Hello’."

But we felt we needed something more to start a Sunday service with than just "hello". So we talked a bit more and we got nowhere.

Eventually - at long last - one of my brother priests asked the right question: "When visitors come from another village, what does the Touchau do?"

They said: "Oh well! He gives them water to wash, and he gets people to come and massage their feet and then he brings in a big bowl of Casiri to drink." - that’s the local traditional cassava beer. "And then everybody feels very welcome!"

And then we had a long and lively discussion of whether or not it was a good idea to start the Sunday service by having a foot massage and sharing around a large bowl of cassava beer. And in the end we decided it probably wasn’t. I leave aside the question of whether or not that was the right decision (you’ll not be surprised to hear that I was in the loudly dissenting minority). But that made an important point - the welcome is not in the words. Words are cheap. The welcome is in the action. We welcome Christ not by faith alone - not just by saying that Jesus is Lord. We welcome him by keeping his commandments - by living our lives as he asked of us and by sharing his body and blood as he told us.

And so, when the Lord welcomes us, He welcomes all of us – not just every single one of us, but every part of us.

Even the parts we do not welcome in ourselves.

Even the feet.

Let us stand and profess our Faith that we are God’s creation – God’s work of art.

Year C: Easter Sunday (Vigil).

"Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here; he has risen."

Every doctor always remembers the first patient who died under his care. For me, it was an elderly woman who came to hospital very sick with heat stroke and dehydration. We did our best for her; put fluid back into the veins and treated everything else we could treat. But her kidneys failed and then her heart began to fail and then her liver. Finally, after clinging on for about a week in the Intensive Care Unit, she died early one morning.

Late in the evening of the day she died, I was driving along the road past the hospital. And I saw her husband, standing by the side of the road all alone, holding just a little plastic bag which, somehow I knew, contained the few little possessions his wife had left behind. He was just standing there, watching the cars pass by on the road and even from the car I could see the tears wet on his face. I think he may have been waiting for a bus and had forgotten that the last bus had gone at least an hour ago. But that picture of him standing there, all alone, with just a few of his wife’s belongings, weeping, will forever be for me my picture of misery, loneliness and grief.

I stopped and picked him up. How could I not?

He lived thirty miles out of my way, but I couldn’t leave him there. I drove as fast as I dared because I knew what he was going to say and I couldn’t bear to hear it and I wanted to shorten the journey as much as possible.

He talked about their life together - how happy they had been; what they had shared – how happy she had been when he had come back safe and healthy after the War. Their sorrow at not being able to have children; their shared happiness in a small isolated sheep farm deep in the Cornish countryside.

And now, she was gone and he was wobbling like a man trying to stand on one leg - like a boxer who has been knocked down and badly hurt, but has beaten the count and is trying to make the referee think that he’s fit to continue. And, I have to admit, I was wobbling a bit too. So, in fact was the car.

One thing he clung to. He believed that somewhere; somehow; some way; they would meet again and they would be happy again – together.

This was before I was a priest – and when I was not at my most Christian – but I remembered the words of St Paul to the Corinthians:

"If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most miserable of all people. But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep."

Our faith – our entire hope – is based upon the Resurrection of Christ. Without the Resurrection, Christ was a great man who lived a good life – did some extraordinary things; taught some extraordinary thoughts and made some extraordinary claims. But if the Resurrection is True, then the most extraordinary thing is true – that God really did become man two thousand years ago; experienced our life; went through our death and rose for our Salvation.

The evidence does not convince everyone. The testimony of a few frightened women. The claims of some apostles who ran away from the Cross but saw him again in Galilee; The experiences of Paul and the other disciples that witness to his rising again and his Ascension to the Father. But if – as we believe – Paul is right – "Christ has in fact been raised from the dead" - then Mr Clement Parker, his wife Edith, and all of us have something to hope for.

Let us stand and profess our faith in God who gives us all something to hope for.

Year A,B,C: Easter Sunday (Day).

"Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead." [John 20.9]

A long time ago in a land far, far way…

Well, actually, about twenty years ago, when I was in South America, a young woman (I shall call her Sonja) came to see me in the mission hospital where I worked.

And she looked dreadful.

She was distraught and weeping and shaking.

It seemed like she was in despair.

She crept into my room.

And she sat down.

And there was a long silence as she tried to compose herself.

And then she said what I knew she was going to say:

"I am a victim of HIV".

Those were the days, thankfully now long in the past, when there was almost no treatment for HIV – and almost no hope. The diagnosis felt like a death sentence.

So she talked, crying most of the time, about what had happened – how she had felt a bit ill with a cough and flu – how she had gone along to a government Clinic and the clinic had asked her to have the test – and it had come back positive. It had been a dreadful shock.

And then she talked for a time about the person who she thought had given it to her.

And then she talked about her fears for the future, about how she was afraid of getting sick, and dying – perhaps in pain and suffering.

And then she began to talk about what would happen after death – and most of all about what would happen to her 7-year old daughter. That was her greatest fear. Between sobs, she said, "All my family are overseas, so what will happen to her?"

I let her talk.

In these situations, there is pretty much nothing else you can do.

But eventually she finished and I started trying to tell her some positive things: even in those days, there was some treatment we could offer – some hope that we could offer to help people with HIV to live longer and to live better.

I did my best, but it wasn’t enough. At the end, she was still in despair. I was afraid to let her go because I thought she would hurt herself, perhaps even kill herself as so many used to do soon after diagnosis. I was worried that she had come to me like so many others used to do, as their last hope wheb the government clinics had told them there was nothing they could do. So I asked her to see a friend of mine Sister Jacinta who is a nun and in those days did a lot of good work counselling people with HIV and helping them come to terms with their disease and to make the best of their time. Sonja agreed that she would go to see her every day. And she agreed that she would come back and see me in a week’s time. And I also asked her to take another test at our own hospital, just to document the diagnosis for our own hospital records.

Two days later, the second test came back – and it was negative!

I was almost frightened to tell her because I was afraid that the lab might have made a mistake and I would be giving her false hope. It’s very rare for a positive test to be wrong. And giving false hope is the worst thing a doctor can do – because it destroys true hope.

So we did a third test. And I made the lab do it by six different methods just to be sure – and it was definitely negative.

Still, I wouldn’t believe it. I went personally to the head of the laboratory and made her do the test herself, with her own hands, over and over again until I could be sure.

As you may imagine, Sonja’s relief was immense – suddenly her whole life opened up again. Initially, she was reluctant to believe it as I had been. But having taken effort to make myself sure, I was able to make her sure.

But it was not the same life. I asked her how it felt. She said that on the day of her diagnosis, she had suddenly understood what was really important in her life. And, without any pious rubbish, what was really important in her life were her relationship with God and her 7-year old daughter. And absolutely nothing else.

And she said that on that day of her diagnosis, she had made herself a promise to live whatever life remained to her in service of those things that were really important to her. And now that her time was longer than she had feared, it was a promise she still intended to keep. Until that moment, she had failed to understand that she must rise from the dead.

I would like us all to reflect for a few moments. If for ourselves the chips were really down; if we thought we did not have long to live; what would be really important to us, each of us, just at that moment. Because there will come a day when that is all that will be important. It is only when, like Sonia, we have risen from the dead that we know the true meaning of our lives. Because that is the difference between Good Friday and Easter Sunday; between despair and hope, between death and new life.

So I say to you again, ‘Happy Easter!’

Let us stand and profess our Faith in the Lord’s Resurrection and New Life.

Paul O'Reilly <fatbaldnproud@opalityone.net>

 

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Volume 2 is for you. Your thoughts, reflections, and insights on the next Sundays readings can influence the preaching you hear. Send them to preacherexchange@att.net.  Deadline is Wednesday Noon. Include your Name, and Email Address.

-- Fr. John Boll, OP


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(form revised 2020-09-23)


Volume II Archive

We keep up to six articles in this archive.  The latest is always listed first.

EASTER 6 EASTER 5 EASTER 4 EASTER 3 EASTER 2 EASTER/TRIDUUM


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