Dear Mercy Family,
These days have given us all lots of time for prayer and reflection. I was reflecting myself upon the fact that the Italian word for Lent is quaresima which comes from the of course the Latin word for the number forty quaranta and quarantina which more tellingly means 40 days. Interestingly it is where we get the word quarantine from. We all know that quarantine means to isolate, to separate, or sequester in order to prevent exposure of one kind or another, usually to infectious disease. It’s very interesting that in the 14th century during the Black Death or Bubonic Plague, ships had to remain in port for 4o days before those aboard could disembark. It was the time considered for infection to run its course and enable those from the boat to disembark. The purpose of these 40 days was of course to stymie any further outbreak. We have all witnessed this year the pandemic COVID-19 erupt on our world during this quaresima (Lent). We are reminded of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert in isolation from the world. And as I have shared before, even if we did not want to embrace Lent for ourselves, all humanity is being forced to partake in Lent.
We are entering Holy Week and marking these great events of our salvation. We indeed walk with Jesus the road of Calvary, in uniting our sufferings with His. We stand at the foot of Calvary facing our difficulties, our heartaches, our challenges, and even in some of our tragedies. We follow in the steps that Jesus made 2000 years ago. We cannot avoid these challenges in our path, but we must embrace them. We are asked not to give up in the face of disappointment, but to continue placing our feet directly in Jesus’ footsteps. We are reminded not to ignore our sin or deny our sin but to bring it to the light and take responsibility for it so that the healing love of God can bring about something beautiful from the ashes of it.
We believe that pain and suffering are not the end; sorrow and loneliness are not the end; so let us take courage with our imperfect lives to walk this journey with the Lord. Knowing that life does not always work out as we had planned, accepting a world that sometimes hurts us rather than heals us, and accept this uncertainty rather than know every step and every outcome. That is what this week is all about and that is why it is holy. Taking Jesus’ hand and letting Him take ours and walking with Him up this lonely hill together. Doing this is our act of faith; it is our act of trust; it is our act of love. Confident that we shall find with Jesus peace and victory as we are so in need of another Easter morning.
As Bishop Duca said on Laetare Sunday, “…it’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming…!”
Jesus we trust in YOU!