It is very surreal to me not to be in community with everyone at Saint Anne on Palm Sunday, experiencing the blessing of palms and being immersed in the story of Jesus’ journey to the cross. As Jesus began this journey, none of those greeting him as he entered Jerusalem knew how it would progress, and certainly not how it would end. Then, as now, it is prayer and trust in God that sustains and comforts us on our own journey.
As routines have changed so dramatically these past few weeks, I find myself more present to the everyday things that are sometimes blurred by the daily rush; my husband’s excitement at being able to once again ride his bike; my son missing spending time with his friends and wondering how many of the special moments of his senior year of high school he will never get to experience; all of us enjoying more time together doing simple things like cooking and playing board games. The speed of life can sometimes lead to our unintentionally taking for granted that which is most precious to us.
Days seem incomplete without the rush of children arriving to learn about God’s love for them, without the presence of those who share their faith so generously with those children, and without those whom I am fortunate to work alongside at Saint Anne – I am missing their inspiration and nourishment. As Jesus taught us to pray in times of uncertainty, I found comfort and purpose in praying the following prayer from Father Joseph McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University in New York.
God of all mercies, grant:
to our families and communities, safety and good health,
to those afflicted with COVID-19, swift healing,
to healthcare providers, strength and stamina,
to our leaders, wisdom and compassion,
to our nation, unity and purpose,
to the dying, comfort,
to the dead, eternal life,
to all believers, strong faith in you,
to the church, the gift of service,
to the whole human family, unity of heart,
and to us, your servants, the reward of knowing that we are doing your will
when we spend ourselves in loving service of others.
May the God of all consolation walk with us through these difficult times.
And may God find us worthy of the call to be a healing and reconciling presence in a wounded world.Amen
My hope is for each of us to come out of this crisis more present to what is truly important in each of our lives and more acutely aware of our ability to positively impact the lives of others. Our faith and trust in God will see us through to the day when we can once again share in the Blessed Sacrament together, as community, in celebration of the risen Lord.