Friday, May 10, 2024

 Death questions the authenticity of our existence, is a thought worth carrying over, for some further reflection. Over my sixty plus years in ministry I have never encountered death without being aware, nothing is the same. Growing up in Ireland there were no funeral parlors. The person was waked from their own home. I remember visiting the homes and going into the room where the corpse lay. I used to say a few prayers. After the prayers being offered I did kissed the dead person on the forehead. Then went out.  At St. Andrew The Apostle, we were blessed to have a hospice home in pretty near the rectory. Over 20 plus years I made numerous calls to that home to supply comfort to the dying person, an to their families. Driving back to an empty home now see how many mini retreats The Holy Spirit blessed me with. The lenses through which I was seeing life, were constantly refined by The Great Optometrist. I found I was preaching from a different place. One got to the meat, there was fluffy language used. I had to catch myself, many is the time, from using some of the common language of those brought up in Ireland. We cannot hide from life in all of its nakedness. We must be real. The blessings of being real, you are in touch with The Real, another name for The Divine, for God.

            The life, sufferings, death, burial, Resurrection,  Ascension, and descent of The Holy Spirit are the lenses, through which we are challenged to see the realities of our daily living. That is why we have Christmas, Lent, and Easter every year, because on visit is not enough. The Easter egg is not dipped just once, but again, and again, and again, and..... So we as Christians, and those who face the challenges of injustices, bigotry, exploitation, dehumanization, and trafficking, will find strength in reflecting, meditating on the unvarnished events of The Prophet Jesus's three short years of ministry. In speaking , and above all living The New Truths Jesus was faced with the stern, awe-full reality of what happens when truth is forcefully spoken to power. Virginia, and all mothers of special needs, special human beings, have first hand knowledge of the hoops to jump through to make sure their child receives all that it is entitled to. It is not about extras, it is about basics. When are these mothers, along with The Veronicas, and Simons of Cyrene who minister to the Jesus Christs on a moment to moment basis be recognized as the true evangelists sent to witness today's harsh and uncaring world. I had friend Barbara who was an advocate for patients in a mental institution, her stories shattered me. How can human beings be so callously treated, by so called, fellow human beings. Suffering ,we are to be taught over a long period of time, is a mystery into which we are dipped, moment to moment on our journey following in the footsteps of Jesus, Who became The Christ through His Paschal-Easter Mysteries. Where He has gone , we ARE TO FOLLOW, when we assume the mantle of being The Ministering Christ to todays suffering Christs.

                     Some are blessed with a great sensitivity for the suffering Christs who inhabit our world. What are the fears to be faced in order for us to be authentic, contemporary healers of our wounded sisters and brothers? In the transformative mysterious encounter of care giving, wounded  wounders  become wounded healers.  Warning !!! An earthquake will occur, and "your life will be turned, upside, RIGHT" (G.K. Chesterton) The Risen Cosmic Christ arises from the tabernacle of our depths, "and it is wonder-full to behold ".May your hearts and backs  be strengthened by grace so you will enjoy the life you were chosen to lead, and live at a price. That is why so many of the mystics encourage us "to gaze, look at The Cross." I will not apologize for the results.  May that road ever rise before you. May The Spirit Wind be always at your back. Until we meet again, may  love of The Gracious Mother/Father cuddle you, in safety. May Love prayers and blessings reach you wherever you may be. Great Grandpa Joe.

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