I was in high school, a junior I think…

I was in high school, a junior I think, and I was driving back to school after lunch. I came to an intersection and the vehicle I was driving suddenly lost traction

Second Sunday of Easter
Divine Mercy Sunday
Gospel of John 20:19-31

Today, the Second Sunday of Easter, was declared by the Holy Church on May 5, 2000, to henceforth be ever known as Divine Mercy Sunday. Today’s Gospel, read every Second Sunday of Easter, describes the event during which Jesus entrusted to the Church his authority to forgive sins. We also read about the Apostle Thomas, the one who doubted, and learn that everyone, including the Apostles, are in need of God’s mercy.

I was in high school, a junior I think, and I was driving back to school after lunch. I came to an intersection and the vehicle I was driving suddenly lost traction (it was mid-January in Wyoming and the road conditions were icy) and slid into the intersection colliding with another vehicle. No one was physically injured in the accident; not me, the passenger riding with me, or the old man driving the 1972 Jeep J-series pickup…it was pink. Not bright pink, but like red paint sprayed over gray primer pink…and it was smooshed. The vehicle I was driving, a 1984 Ford F-150, 4×4, two-toned blue, pickup with a white topper shell had sustained significant damage to the grill, front bumper, and left front quarter panel; so much so that it was impossible to open the driver’s side door. I vividly remember this day and the damage to this pick up, because it was my dad’s pickup, and I was “technically” not supposed to be driving it.

My dad worked out of town during the week and his company supplied him with a “work truck.” His work truck had tool boxes, fuel tanks, and was primarily used for work. His personal truck, the 1984 Ford F-150, 4×4, two-toned blue, pickup with a white topper shell was not used for work. In fact, this truck was not to be used for anything other than, of course, for whatever my father wanted to use it.

The concepts of ownership and authority made sense to me at that time… I am sure… because I had spent the two previous summers working to earn enough money in order purchase my very first car; a 1981 Mid-Night Blue Ford Mustang. A car, by-the-way, which at the time of this incident was safely parked in the driveway of my father’s house because, “Mustang’s aren’t that good in the snow and the pick-up had 4-wheel drive.”

So, like I said, the concepts of ownership, authority, respect, and the common courtesy of asking someone’s permission before borrowing their stuff had to have been concepts that I understood and practiced, even at the age of seventeen. But on that day, they weren’t and I didn’t. I borrowed my dad’s pickup without his permission. I denied his authority, disobeyed his rule, and rationalized and justified why it was perfectly ok for me to do the wrong thing.

The accident, I remind you occurred on a school day, during lunch, and I had to go back to school. I managed to get the damaged pickup back to my father’s home, where I parked it in the garage, and then got into my car and drove back to school. Thinking that I had at least two days to prepare for the return of my father I went back to school relatively confident that I had a couple days before I would receive consequences for my disobedience… and, at the very least, I had a good story to tell.

Later that evening… as I drove up to the house, late because I had basketball practice, and it was dark, very dark, I noticed my father’s work truck sitting in the driveway. I got out of my car and through the kitchen window I saw my father, still wearing his work clothes, sitting at the kitchen table talking to my mother. It was at that moment I seriously considered running away and joining the carnival. I was convinced that whatever fate, fortune, or failure that awaited me as a carney would be far better than whatever was waiting for me on the other side of that door.

I want to be clear. My father is not, nor was he ever, an abusive man. The dread and apprehension that I felt that evening was not a result of the fear of my father; rather, it was because I knew I had disappointed him. I had disobeyed him, taken his hard-work for granted, and denied his authority. In essence, much like Thomas, I denied the position and authority of my father, and acted upon the belief that my own set of rules and perceptions of the world in which I lived, were all that mattered.

I walked into the house, put my basketball stuff away, came back into the kitchen where my parents were still sitting, and stood looking down at the linoleum floor. My father, standing up from his chair, said, “Well, should we go out and look at it?” I nodded and followed my father out the door.

Our garage sits on the back of the property and it is about a 25’ walk from the back porch of the house to the door of the garage. It was a quiet walk for there was no need to say anything. We both knew why we were out there. We got to the garage, turned on the light, and I promise you that somebody must have entered that garage while I was at school and beat that truck with a sledge hammer. Because that 1984 Ford F-150, 4×4, two-toned blue pickup with a white topper shell looked way worse than it did when I parked it 6 hours earlier. I didn’t say anything.

My father, still looking at his damaged pickup, asked, “Nobody got hurt…right?”.

“Yeah.” I answered, “Nobody got hurt.”

We stood there for a few minutes looking at the damage caused and the words I had spoken earlier that day came to my mind as if they were being played over the radio of that 1984 Ford F-150, two-toned blue pickup with a white topper shell. In that period of silence, I heard the rationalizations and justifications that perpetuated my disobedience.

My father then sighed which caused me to come back to reality, and for the first time that evening I looked my father in his eyes, and he said, “Let’s go back inside and have dinner.” He added, “You will get that to the body shop tomorrow, so we can get an estimate.” I told him I would, and I followed him back to the house.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, today, the Second Sunday of Easter, is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday.

Their eyes were opened and they recognized him

Easter Day
The Resurrection of the Lord
Gospel of St. Luke24:13-35

“Their eyes were opened and they recognized him.” What a wonderful description for this glorious Easter Sunday. I hope your day has been a day of joy, of celebration, and of renewal. A celebration of new birth, of life, of victory over sin and death.

As a community we celebrated and continue to celebrate those who entered our fellowship last night at the Easter Vigil. Individually, we are celebrating the end of our Lenten penitential journey. Some of us, for example, may be celebrating the wonderful taste and satisfaction of a hot cup of coffee, flavored ever so subtlety with a dollop of sweet hazelnut cream, just enough to give that dark, layered, deep color a gentle hint of blonde. Other’s of you too had opportunity to celebrate similar simple pleasures as well… and we are thankful and full of joy.

We also find additional reason to celebrate as we discovered in this afternoon’s Gospel. It is there where we read about the encounter the disciples on the road to Emmaus had with our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ. We see in their encounter his desire to walk and to fellowship with us. His desire to make himself known and to bring us into relationship with him and with one another.

The details of this encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus is not unfamiliar to us; yet, its message may sometimes escape us as we too sometimes have difficulty recognizing Jesus. The challenge we have this day is to put ourselves on that road… the road to Emmaus.

Emmaus is West of Jerusalem which meant those two disciples were traveling towards the setting sun. Their chosen path leading them not towards the sun rise, the dawn of a new day, but rather towards the sunset, the ending of their story. They were leaving Jerusalem, which for them, had once held promise, and was now the very source of their discouragement and disappointment; the city was where their hope had perished. They were leaving the community of believers. The very people with whom they had previously traveled difficult miles, endured long hours, and suffered the heat of the day and the cold of the night. They were abandoning the very people with whom they had witnessed the miracles which inspired their faith; and with whom they grew in hope and joy. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus were not just walking… they were walking away.

We read about their disappointment, frustration, and discouragement regarding the events they had just witnessed in Jerusalem. We read about their inability to understand the significance and the promise fulfilled in the resurrection. Even as Jesus accompanied them along the road, his words and his teaching and instruction caused a “burning within their hearts”, yet, the Gospel is very clear, they were prevented from recognizing him. How sad it must have been that first Easter to have travelled the same road alongside Jesus and not recognize him. How sad it is this many years later to travel a similar road and not recognize him.

The road to Emmaus, for all its disappointment is in truth a wonderful illustration of God’s love for us. As Jesus encountered these two disciples, so too does he encounter us. Jesus walks alongside us, as he did with them, when we are discouraged and down. Talks to us, as he did with them, through his word and with reason, helping us to know him and understand him. Jesus is just as patient with us, as he proved to those two disciples when he walked seven miles… in the wrong direction…, when we lose our way and are engulfed in doubt and despair. As he did with those two disciples, when light began to fade and the day turned to night, Jesus waited but only for an invitation, as he does so patiently with us. And when we have opened ourselves to him, as did to those two disciples, he too will open our eyes and allows us to recognize him. Recognize him in the Eucharist; in the Sacraments of the Church; in his Word; in each other.

Those two down-trodden, discouraged, and dismayed disciples were no longer. For once they recognized Jesus, the moment their eyes had been opened, they immediately changed their direction, hurried back to Jerusalem, rejoined their community, and bore witness to the work that he had done in their lives. They celebrated, in true joy, the wondrous grace and mercy of God. The fulfillment of a promise that did not end at Calvary, on the cross, but continues to this day in the lives of each one of us. The promise that Jesus want us to know him, to recognize him, to fellowship with him at his table.

We have gathered here this day to celebrate not only the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, but also his presence here with us. His presence here in the Eucharist. His presence here inside each of us. His presence here in each other. Invite Jesus this day to open your eyes and reveal to himself to you, that you too may be filled with joy, and his love… one for another.

Six weeks ago…

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Gospel of Mark 14:1-15:47

Six weeks ago, we willingly embarked upon a journey purposely, and intentionally exposing ourselves to difficulty, trial, temptation, and hardship. We set out upon this journey into the desert in hope. Hoping that upon its conclusion we would find ourselves transformed by the grace and mercy of God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to more resemble our model and example, Jesus Christ our Lord. Today, this Palm Sunday of our Lord’s Passion, we have reached our destination, but not the end of our journey.

In today’s Gospel (Mark 11:1-10) at the procession we heard about Jesus’s entrance into the city, his final destination. We heard how the people welcomed him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!” In these words we can almost feel the excitement of the city of Jerusalem, and a people, who have spent hundreds of years in anticipation of the arrival of the Messiah, God’s Chosen One, and on this day we celebrate, as did they, his arrival. However, unlike those who witnessed first hand the entrance of the Messiah, we, who gather here today, know that Jerusalem, although his destination, was not the end of his journey.

I am not sure how your Lenten journey has gone. Or, more to the point, I am not sure how you have faired during these past 6 weeks of Lent. Were your struggles too much to bear? Did you abandon the journey? Did doubt creep in and diminish your resolve? Or, did you persevere? Were you able to endure the hardships, trials, and temptations? Did you find a wellspring of hope along the desert path? Were you able to live out your commitment to prayer, service, and self-sacrifice? No matter how you entered this day, triumphant and confident, or discouraged and full of doubt, rest assured that you have reached your journey’s intended destination.

Lent is intended to be a renewal of our hearts and minds. We have labored to set aside the burdens and push through the barriers that have weighed us down and blocked our growth in holiness. We have struggled to maintain our focus on the cross and have fought against discouragement and despair. We are looking forward to rest through which we will be revitalized, refreshed, and renewed.

Yet, just as Jesus entered the city amidst celebration and great joy, he too knew that his journey was not complete. His work was not finished just because he had reached Jerusalem, his journey’s destination. So too I ask you to be mindful of this very fact and know that your Lenten journey is not yet complete.

We have now entered the heart of the church year, Holy Week, and there is still work to be done. As we see in St Marks Passion of Our Lord, Jesus did not take these days as a reason to cease his labor. In fact, we see the exact opposite. He becomes more intense, focused, and earnest in his activities and labors. He no longer speaks to his disciples in parables of talents and mustard seeds. His instructions are clear, direct, and intentional. From his instruction to his disciples to “let her alone” regarding the woman who anointed his head with oil; to his preparations for the observance of the Passover; to his proclamation of Judas’s pending betrayal and Peter’s upcoming denial; to the institution of his, the Lord’s Supper; to the loud cry upon the cross as he breathed his last breath, Jesus labored and endured for he knew that though, on Palm Sunday, he had arrived at the final destination, yet, his journey was incomplete without the cross.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter the spiritual condition in which you have arrived here today; no matter the successes or failures you experienced during your Lenten journey; no matter the discouragement or joy you feel, I implore you, in the example of Jesus, to complete your journey this Lenten season. Make Holy Week a period of preparation and labor. Find time each day for prayer. Read the Passion of our Lord; let his suffering, his courage, his obedience, and his unwavering love permeate into your every thought, word, and deed. Commit yourself to the service of others. Take risks in your charity and affect the lives of the people around you for good. Let this Holy Week, regardless of how you got here, be the opportunity that God will use to change your life, heal your wounds, and strengthen your spirit. See your Lenten journey to its end.

There was time in my life when I thought I was done.

5th Sunday of Lent
Gospel of John 12:20-30

There was time in my life when I thought I was done. To be honest, there have a few moments and experiences in my span of 48 years when I felt like it was over. Moments when I was convinced that everything I had worked for, hoped for, and believed in were about to be wiped away, erased from the record, amounting for nothing. Fortunately for me, and for those of you who have also experienced similar such moments, those moments are just that… a moment. A period of time, some more brief than others, that pass away and move on into the past.

Here we are just a few weeks away from the end of our Lenten journey, and it is in today’s Gospel that we find Jesus having a similar moment. This moment when all that he had worked for, and all that he had hoped for, and all that he believed in was being put to the test. We read his words “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say, ‘Father save me from this hour?’ But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.”

Jesus, in his hour, the hour for which he came, spoke to his followers about a single grain of wheat. In a single grain of wheat there is exponentially more, however, that potential cannot be achieved unless it first dies. I read one biblical scholar who describe this reality in this way, “A grain of wheat is ineffective and unfruitful as long as it is preserved.”

For those of us who know the end of this story, we modern day Christians, understand that when Jesus was talking about a single grain of wheat he was also talking about himself. Those who were standing next to Jesus at that moment and time lacked the perspective of history. They could not have understood that Jesus was describing the necessity of his passion, death, and resurrection for their salvation. But we do. We have the ability to look back, with the perspective of history, and read his words, trace his steps, and hear the accounts of others knowing that Jesus was speaking about his own manner of death and subsequent resurrection.

That part we get. (This is the part when all of God’s people say, ‘amen’!) What we often time fail to hear, or at least obey, in these words of Jesus is that we too must give our lives so that we too may have eternal life.

The words I quoted a moment before, “A grain of wheat is ineffective and unfruitful as long as it is preserved” take on a new meaning and intent when we apply them to ourselves. Jesus was not just referencing himself in this example, he was also setting a standard for those of who follow him. We must give of ourselves in order that we too may become effective and fruitful.

This Lenten season you have been asked to seek God through prayer, serve God by serving others, and find our dependence upon God through self-sacrifice. All of these spiritual disciplines, exercises if you will, are designed to teach us and assist us in “giving up” our life in order that we may be used by God for his greater glory.

During those time in life… those dark times. Those moments when if feels as if the doors are being shut and hope is all but extinguished. It is those moments, when life is raw, unfiltered, and unrelenting when faith is but a thread. It is those moments when we must place our hope in God, just as Jesus did when he said, “Father, glorify your name.” Our example and model, Jesus, has asked us to place our lives, our hopes, and eternal salvation into the very hands of God.

The dark moments in life have come and will come again. We will not be exempted from those, but what we will be exempted from is despair. For just as Jesus was tested, so shall we. Just as Jesus came up against doubt and fear, so shall we. Just as Jesus surrendered his will to the Father, so should we. And, just as Jesus was glorified so shall we.

There is an early church tradition about St. Moses the Ethiopian…

4th Sunday of Lent
Gospel of John 3:14-21

There is an early church tradition about St. Moses the Ethiopian, a 4th century saint, and his spiritual mentor, St. Isidore. St. Moses the Ethiopian was a physically intimidating man who was known for his ruthlessness, brutality, and life of crime long before he was known as a saint. It was shortly after St. Moses the Ethiopian had turned his back on his former life and was struggling to remain faithful to his conversion, that he and his mentor, St. Isidore, sat on the roof of the monastery all through the night for the singular purpose of watching the sun rise. After the sun had fully risen St. Isidore turned to St. Moses the Ethiopian and said, “See how long it takes for the light to drive away the darkness of night?… It is the same with the soul.”

The word Lent itself comes from an Anglo-Saxon word for springtime, lencten. It describes the gradual lengthening of the daylight after the winter solstice. Today, I would suggest, that it is possible that we too wish we had an English word that best describes the lengthening of the daylight and the shortening of the night; for it seems that winter may yet last another 3 months. However, in spite of our intolerance of winter, and in spite of our complaints, we eagerly look forward to spring, the changing of the season, the re-birth.

Our Lenten journey has thus far been a journey that has lead us deeper into the desert. Though our destination is drawing closer with each passing step we are keenly aware that our journey has caused us to travel farther from comfort and ease as it has brought us greater trial, toil, and struggle. At this point in our journey we have experienced tests and temptations that go beyond the discomfort of penance and self-sacrifice. We have now begun to face the insecurities and doubts that accompany the confrontation of our limitations, deficiencies, and failings. It is at this point in our Lenten journey when we are forced to re-align our expectations with the realities of the cost of true discipleship. It is also, at this point in our Lenten journey, when we have opportunity to experience the grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love of God.

The best description for today, this 4th Sunday of Lent, is that the pre-dawn is upon us. The Church encourages us today to begin to shift our gaze from the path to the horizon, and the beginning of the rising of the Son. St. John the Evangelist reminds us that the Light of the world, Jesus, has come into the world so that we may have eternal life. The Light of the world, Jesus the Christ, a gift from God both in his humanity and by his sacrifice, has come into this world to be the light in the darkness. The Light of the World, our Savior, has come into this world that we may not be condemned but have hope in his resurrection.

One of my favorite moments of the day occurs in the early hour before the rising of the sun. That moment, in the pre-dawn, when all of creation begin to stir and arise in hope to the promise of the day. The birds have not yet begun their song in earnest; yet, much like a musician warming up an instrument, they prepare for their part in the chorus of the dawn.

Today our Lenten journey is just like that moment. Full in the confidence in the promises of Jesus I ask you to turn your heats and your minds to the horizon and prepare yourself to celebrate the dawn of Christ, the rising of the Son, the new day in our pilgrimage here on this earth.

In the Midst of Our Lenten Journey

3rd Sunday of Lent
Gospel of John 2: 13-25

About now, in the midst of our Lenten journey, we may find ourselves wondering if the self-sacrifice, prayer, and service are really worth it. It is likely that some of us have already encountered significant tests and trials on our journey through the desert, and it may be possible that some of us have begun the process of giving up. Yes, you heard me correctly, I said, “have begun” giving up. We very rarely give up suddenly or spontaneously because that is not our typical human response to difficulty. Typically, when we endeavor on a path of change and growth our decision to abandon that path starts with a shadow, a shade, or a phantom of doubt that then grows into discouragement and despair eventually resulting in the abandonment of the journey.

I recall many times sitting in my counseling office listening to broken and discouraged individuals attempt to explain their failed attempts at recovery and change. They would sit in my office in shock, dismay, and shame as they described a “spontaneous” relapse into their old familiar destructive behaviors. Invariably they would claim they had no idea why, or how, or what lead up to their relapse.

Sadly, in almost all cases, they were wrong. Their relapse was not a sudden and definite change in direction, but rather it was a gradual and almost imperceptible drift from the path. The reality of the situation was not that they had decided to stray, but rather they ignored the warning signs. The warning signs that they were drifting from the course. The key to preventing relapse is recognizing those signs…and believe it or not that leads us today’s Gospel; John’s account of Jesus cleansing the temple.

In the time of Jesus, the Temple Mount was the center of Jewish religious life. The Temple building itself was small and could fit inside the infield of a professional baseball field. However, the structures around it, the plaza, the porticos, the columns, the staircases would have covered close to 10 football fields. Immediately inside the outer walls of the Temple Mount was a large open-aired space known as the Court of Gentiles, and it was there that Jesus encountered the sellers of oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers. It was there in the Court of the Gentiles that the majority of the people would have been gathered, especially in the days leading up to Passover, engaging in the business of buying and selling and trading. It was there that Jesus demanded that his Father’s house no longer be treated as a marketplace, and it was there where Jesus asserted his authority.

The challenge for us today, this 3rd Sunday of lent, is to place ourselves into this Gospel narrative and ask ourselves, “how are we treating our Father’s House?” Just as Jesus responded to his critics, so too I ask you to identify where does God reside in your life? Does he exist outside of you, in a building, or structure? Does he exist in thought; or in your mind, as a creation of your own mental understanding? Does he exist in rituals, rites, or in your personal exercises of righteousness? No! God does not exist in building or structures, nor is he a creation of your thoughts. God exists in you, personally and experientially.

Our Lenten journey is a response to God calling us to draw nearer to him; and in order to do that, we must be willing to allow ourselves to be cleansed. However, before we can be cleansed we must first become aware of how far we have strayed from the path. Today is an excellent day to engage in self-examination and honestly evaluate your progress on your desert journey. Re-examine your commitment to prayer, self-sacrifice, and service. Evaluate your behaviors, your language, and your relationships. Are you moving closer to God? Or, are you drifting from the path back towards the comfortable and enticing habits that prevented you from growing in faith and service?

Everyday the events, circumstances, and business of walking this pilgrim’s journey, we call life, can distract us from seeking God. Our financial, physical, and emotional health are under constant bombardment by the daily functions and realities of living in this imperfect world. We encounter disappointment, and in turn we become discouraged, that eventually creates doubt, that leads to fear. Once we become fearful, we become angry. Angry towards God, ourselves, and our neighbor.

Our goal today is to recognize where and how we have managed to stray from the path on which God has called us to journey. We must recognize the authority of Jesus, and his power, as a guide and an aid, and call out to him to cleanse our temple of all the distractions that have taken up residence there. We must recognize one another as fellow pilgrims along this desert journey and lift and carry one another’s burdens knowing that God has called us to serve him through serving each other.

We must not let our disappointments and hardships put us on the path of fear and anger. Rather, we must trust in the promises of Jesus Christ our savior knowing that by his authority and through his power we will be filled with hope…and hope does not disappoint.

Garage Doors

2nd Sunday of Lent

Gospel of Mark 9:2-10

Garage doors. I want to talk to you, this 2nd Sunday of Lent, about Garage doors. I assume that my home is no different than many of your own homes in that there are things, mechanisms, windows, and doors that are in need of repair. I also recognize the unwritten rule that when one thing is fixed, another breaks, and in the process of repairing that item another problem is discovered, and that one has to be fixed before you can fix the problem you started to fix in the first place. For me, this week, it was the garage door.

How the garage door broke is of little significance. That it did break and how I responded to the broken garage door is what is important. I confess to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, that I lost my mind. I went from a happy pleasant start of my day to instantaneous outrage and exasperation. I am making no small matter of this garage door incident. I literally went from hope filled to despair…despairing of all things good and decent in a split second. God forgive me.

I am amazed at how often a small insignificant matter can upset and/or disrupt my true desire to live at peace with God, my neighbor, and myself. I marvel at my humanity, or more specifically, my weakness. The church describes this weakness and inclination to sin as concupiscence and though I do not wish to talk to you this day about sin and weakness it is necessary for us to understand its reality. Our Christian faith is hardwired for difficulty. In fact, and I may be speaking for myself at this point, however, I do believe some of you may agree with me when I say, at times, there appears to be more difficulty in the picking up of your cross and following Jesus, than there is comfort.

And, believe it or not, that is where we find hope in today’s Gospel. Today’s Gospel is the transfiguration. For us, followers of Christ, the transfiguration, is no small matter. For it is in these 8 verses of Mark that we find hope. In these 8 verses we see a moment of Jesus’s divine glory and that he is the Christ, the Messiah, the one to come, pointed too by the Law and Prophets of the Old Testament. In these 8 verses we also find the presence of the trinity; God the father in the voice, the Son in Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in the cloud covering them all. In these 8 verses we find the confusion of Peter, James, and John and their lack of understanding regarding the necessity of the suffering and death that Jesus must endure. In all of these, we modern day followers of Christ are able to find hope.

Hope is the virtue we desire and expect from God both for eternal life and the grace we need to attain it. Hope (as are the other theological virtues of faith, and charity) is essential to our Christian walk. For in hope we find joy and strength to endure the tests, trials, and tribulations of our pilgrimage here on earth. In hope we look forward to the promise of Christ for eternal life and glory. In hope we aspire to build God’s Kingdom here on earth that we may receive the reward and the praise of, “well done my good and faithful servant.” And it is hope, that the Apostle Paul points to in today’s 2nd reading when he asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

So I ask you, “How is your Lent going?” Have you remained faithful to your commitments? Have you been seeking God through prayer in the manner and method you planned? Have you stayed true to your fast? Your self-sacrifice? Your self-denial? Have you been serving others? Giving your treasure, time, and talent to those who are in need? Have you supported others in their Lenten journey?

Some of you have already faced obstacles, struggles, and road blocks. Some of you have experienced loss. Loss of health, loss of relationships, and even some of you may have already experienced the loss of death in your family or friends. Some of you have already despaired, or have been discouraged, and may have even given up on your Lenten journey.

Today I ask you if that is you. If you have already lost your hope, please open yourself to it once again. Trust in today’s Gospel message of the promise of eternal life and joy. Trust in the example of Abraham whose willingness to be put to the test resulted in a Promise and in abundant blessings. Trust in each other as you journey together that through love and fellowship with one another you will find encouragement and support.
Finally, do not let the failure of a man kind invention, such as garage door, set you back on your journey, rather, put your trust in Jesus Christ, who for a moment, shared his glorification with his disciples, in order that we may share in their testimony and find hope in the life, passion, death, and resurrection of our savior.