Monday of the 2nd Week of Easter
Psalm 2:1-3, 4-7a, 7b-9
How Can You Help?
Recently I had to phone a large number of our retreatants regarding their relationship with our retreat house. I began every conversation with “How are you doing?” The majority responded with some variation of “I am doing fine!” and sounded like they meant it! Many explained that they were watching Mass on TV, praying various prayers, keeping in touch with certain friends and family members, etc. And they were hopeful that this very awkward experience of isolation and angst would soon come to an end.
Their faith and their positive attitude was keeping them healthy!
Some few persons were much less secure. These tended to be persons with limited means, limited connections to others, and little reason to expect that anyone could help them out.
One gentleman, a very rational, well-educated professional, now retired, was frustrated that due to the pandemic he couldn’t find a way to reach out to help those who are struggling. He said he “needed” to do something. I asked if he watched much TV. He said “No”. So I told him about the adds where the First Line responders thank others for the encouragement the others were giving them and then asked the entire audience to help them by “Staying Home” in order to not spread the disease and to avoid the risk of catching it.
I suggested “If you stay home to help others, and you are a man of faith and prayer, you have the leisure to take some real time to pray, in any manner you choose, asking God to help those in most distress, to guide those on the front lines, to inspire the researchers, and to bring this horror to a peaceful end”. My friend came alive! He said he would begin immediately…
In today’s reading from the Books of Acts, Peter and John did not allow the threat of prison and the anger of the crowd to stop them from speaking their truth. Our truth is that God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son (John 3:16) to lead us to new life. We cannot afford to allow this pandemic to dampen our faith in such a God. Rather, we need to risk the leap of faith and put everything in God’s hands…
May the peace of God sustain you as you reach out to others in prayer, on-line, by phone, by waving from your balcony, etc.
Fr. John M. Lee, C.P., is the former Retreat Director of Bishop Molloy Retreat House, “The Passionist Spiritual Center in New York City”, www.bishopmolloy.org.
Fr. John is currently on Sabbatical.