Fifth Sunday of Lent

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the Fifth Sunday of Lent: CLICK HERE! 

As I watched the special blessing of Pope Francis on Friday afternoon to the City of Rome and the World, in light of Pandemic that has gripped our world, it was obvious that it was raining in Rome.  (Just as it is raining now, here in the Capital District)

And when I read that famous quote from today’s Gospel, “Jesus wept” I could but think that maybe the rain in Rome was our God’s way of reminding us that he “weeps” with us and worries with us and walks with us in this unprecedented time in history… When a virus can seemingly change the way we live in a heartbeat.  A virus that brings: illness, separation, isolation, questions, concern, anxiety, health concerns and even death to some.

Jesus is with us, Jesus cares for us; just as he cared for his friend Lazarus.

The bottom line to the Gospel today is Jesus brings us hope in good days, in joyful days; in days of sorrow and challenge…


And like Mary and Martha we too say, “Yes, Lord we believe.”  But still we wonder where is Jesus today?  When will Jesus show up?  Maybe, if we look beyond our selves we might see Jesus in our midst.

I love the post I saw this week on Facebook of a family of 9 that placed a piece of paper on the wall with a caption that said: GRATITUDE LIST (4 things were written at the time) Music…  The Internet…  Sough Dough…  and in BIG LETTERS:     DOGS.

What would you add to the list?

You know, many people might be staying at home and becoming a bit stir crazy, or maybe feel like you are under house arrest.  But with every challenge comes opportunity. The opportunity to bring hope to another or others, just as Jesus did.

I truly think that one of the messages, and truly there are many messages, that is coming from the present crisis is, our need to be more concerned about others… it ain’t all Me but others too.

Steve Hartman, a broadcast journalist from CBS is at home with his children.  He recently offered a session online for children called “Kindness 101”.  One thing he talked about was heroism and how heroes today are wearing different kinds of uniforms. So their assignment for the week was to pick one of these new heroes and thank them in any way they could.

Some kids went straight to the phone to thank the pharmacist or the fire chief and nurses. Others used sidewalks to thank mail carriers, FedEx and UPS drivers.  But one kid, Tyler, age 9, decided to give his note to a truck driver, so he taped the note to the loading dock.  The note read in part, “I appreciate that you are still going out and driving your truck because all of us are sitting on our butts watching TV and eating cheetos”.

Who are our heroes for whom are we grateful and thankful?  How might we take this gift of extra time we have to thank a hero, who often looks like you…

Just maybe heroes we call

  • Health care workers at all levels
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • First Responders
  • Grocery Store Personnel
  • Truckers
  • Mail and Banking Personnel
  • All those Essential People… (oh, and how can I forget the most essential of them all, Liquor Stores – kidding to a degree)

Like Jesus (and all those people) who come into our lives daily with hope and healing and so much more, when it is sunny and when it is rainy. May we do the same. Plan on doing something today!

As one quote I came across recently reminds us, “think outside the box; you’ll have eternity to think inside the box.”

Finally, in the new routines that we are taking on at present, take time for:

  • Family
  • Meals together
  • Talking with one another
  • For your school work or job
  • Reaching out to others
  • Fun
  • Relaxing
  • GOD and prayer