This column is written on the same day I made the unprecedented decision to restrict the public celebration of the Eucharist for the Archdiocese of Seattle. More than likely at the time of this reading, we are still living with this new reality, and the advance of this COVID-19 health threat.
Our Lenten journey has probably been far from what we envisioned on Ash Wednesday. At the time of this writing, we are not even sure what our Holy Week and Easter celebrations will look like. However, it is my greatest hope and prayer that even in this difficult moment, we are walking with each other by the light of faith, living with hope, and learning once again how important it is to offer simple acts of charity to everyone, especially those who need us most.
Psalm 27 expresses well my own words of instruction and encouragement to each of you: “I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the Lord!”
We are a people of hope, and our hope comes from the God of all creation. Our hope is precisely born from the person of Jesus Christ, who chose to take on our human condition, preach the kingdom of God, suffer, die and rise from the dead that our sins might be forgiven. He has sent his Holy Spirit to enable us to live in the life he shares with us and to continue the mission he has entrusted to us.
We know in this present experience the need to be stouthearted, because it is not easy to wait upon the Lord, to trust and hope in him in the midst of sickness and uncertainty. In many ways, the Lord wrote our Lenten practices for us this year. In so many ways, he is inviting us to unite our sufferings to his, for his own good will and purposes.
Our faith informs us that even now with so many changes in our day-to-day life, our God is faithful, and can and will work all things out. As we celebrate Holy Week, we are reminded of the suffering that Jesus Christ freely embraced for our salvation. We know his greatest demonstration of love is on full display as he is crucified and dies on the cross. And we believe that was not the end of his story, because he rose from the dead.
No matter where you are in this present moment or in your journey of faith, may you encounter once again the Risen Jesus who comes to restore us to life.
Read the Spanish version of this column.
Northwest Catholic - April 2020
Archbishop Paul D. Etienne was named Archbishop of Seattle on September 3, 2019 by Pope Francis. Read his blog at https://www.archbishopetienne.com/.
El Arzobispo Paul D. Etienne fue nombrado Arzobispo de Seattle el 3 de septiembre de 2019 por el Papa Francisco. Lea su blog en: https://www.archbishopetienne.com/.