The Church In the Tomb

Dear Friends of MDM,

We are all living this challenging, confusing time of the coronavirus and its effects on our society, and the Church.

It seems especially significant that it is occurring during this time of Lent, as we prepare for the holiest time of the year: to follow our Lord in His Passion and Death to His Resurrection and Triumph.

The Catechism tells us that the Church, Christ’s Mystical Body, is also called to follow Jesus in His Passion and Crucifixion as part of her Paschal Mystery.

The sense that I had on Sunday while walking around our Mission, which was so strangely silent, was that it is as if the life of the Church has been placed in the tomb. The shut doors of our churches on Sunday being like the stone that sealed it.

BE NOT AFRAID

In this time of chaos, and uncertainty, we know by faith that all is in God’s Hands. Satan wants to hurt God’s children, in our bodies and especially in our souls. He wants to separate us from Our Father. But nothing escapes Our Father’s plans. He makes all things work to the good for those who love Him, as St. Paul writes (Ro 8:28), even the attacks of the evil one.

He tells us now, be not afraid.

I believe that the Church has been living a great crisis of faith for many years now, as evidenced by the terrible scandals that have wounded it, causing so many to leave the Church, having lost their Catholic faith. 

Christ’s death and burial were devastating for His disciples. Yet, it was the preparation of something new, with the Lord Himself acting.

Right now we are in the tomb, awaiting His light. Unable to do so many things. Needing to wait.

The sense that comes to me is “reset.”

LIVING WITH FAITH AND HOPE

Our Lord is asking us to live this time in trust. In faith. In a waiting that is full of hope.

But we are not doing it alone. Heaven is with us, especially our Blessed Mother, who lived the great trial of Her Son’s death and burial, “hoping against hope.”

“Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Lk 21:27-28

God’s grace is not limited by external circumstances. He continues to pour out this Grace whenever a heart turns to Him.

Read those last two sentences again and let them live in your heart.

LIVING THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL

I think God want to purify our faith during this trial. 

He is making use of our inability to attend Mass physically to teach us to believe beyond sight, beyond feelings and actions.

During this time when many cannot attend Mass, what is most important is that we make an act of faith and unite ourselves in spirit and in truth to His Action in each Mass.

A soul in the state of Grace possesses God. And God takes all that that soul experiences, suffers and offers, and He unites it to His Son’s expiation and offering on the Cross. Thus each soul can participate in Mass spiritually, continually.

This is then a perpetual union and offering of everything to Him, that He may make sure of it for His great work of Redemption, of Reconquest.

We need to help each other trust and abandon ourselves to Him.

Let us live these days with Him, in the Mystery of His Will and Action.

He is in charge, despite all appearances.

And He will not abandon His children.

This is a time of waiting with Him in the tomb, waiting for the dawn.

Be at peace.

Perhaps we cannot gather as usual for Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum services this year. But we are living this Paschal Mystery as His will provides.

Let us offer to Him this time.

I am writing this on the Feast of St. Joseph. He experienced so many trials, such as having to suddenly flee with his family to Egypt, in great uncertainty and hardship. He trusted in the midst of obscurity. May St. Joseph help us with all the cares and concerns we have for ourselves and our loved ones in this time. 

With Mary, our Mother, we say: Jesus, we trust in You.

Come, Lord Jesus.

FATHER JOHN MARY
FATHER JOHN MARY

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