Reflections from Msgr. Lavalley: Holy Thursday

My good friend, Msgr. Richard Lavalley, offers his reflections on Holy Thursday. His reflection considers a time of closed churches in the United States. We must remember that the Holy Eucharist is also a banquet. Calvary becomes present in our churches. Always when we celebrate is the passion of the Christ. And he reminds us that hunger makes the meal. May we experience a hunger for the Eucharist.

The sufferings are nothing

compared with the glory to be revealed for us. Can you believe this? With all of the trouble and suffering in the world, can you believe that anyone can say this? How is it even possible? How can it be that with the suffering and brokenness in others, let alone myself, that I can see that the glory to be revealed is simply that great? The gospel holds the answer. Even the slightest bit of God’s glory is beyond what we can know. And Jesus tells us as much when he gives an example of the Kingdom of God. A mustard seed, so tiny, becomes a large bush. The yeast is felt throughout the whole dough. And when it comes to God’s love for us, and the power of his presence, there simply is nothing stronger.

Love in the heart of the church

Life is pretty hard. Most people, probably all, have moments of difficulty. A loved one dies. A spouse becomes ill. A friend goes through a difficult time. A relative struggles to find a job. People in countries far away and down the street struggle with violence. Others are ravaged by poverty. There is no shortage of evil, difficulties and sin. And when these things happen, we can question how it is that God allows such suffering and difficulty. Yet God the Father sent his Son Jesus to die for our sins. To become one of us, to share in the experience of evil. And so when we find ourselves suffering because of sin, disease, evil, violence, poverty or suffering, we can rest assured we are not alone. Saint Therese of Lisieux, the saint we celebrate today, lost her mother at a very young age, and her oldest sister, who cared for her like a mother, died before Therese became an adult. Yet in the midst of this loss, she found the love of God, a love so powerful that even though she had never left Europe, she became the patron saint of the missions. She thanked God for helping her to love. We must know we are never alone, and in all our suffering we are always in the presence of God.

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