The early days of Holy Week

SPIRIT AND TRUTH
By Father Aaron Williams
In my previous column, I discussed the development of the liturgy of Palm Sunday. In this edition, I want to address Masses which belong to the ‘early days’ of Holy Week: namely, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Mass given for the Monday of Holy Week has been surprisingly consistent throughout the centuries, more so perhaps than any other Mass during the week. The Gospel passage is taken from the twelfth chapter of St. John’s gospel and chronologically speaking occurs the day before Palm Sunday, making it interesting to be placed the day after in the Lectionary. But, there are two reasons for the placement of this passage: one, because it makes mention of the rising of Lazarus within the context of the Passover (thus, foreshadowing the rising of Christ), and second, because of St. John’s aside that Judas was a thief and would take money from the apostle’s communal purse.
Apart from the Gospel, there is no proper rite associated with this day. Before the reform of the Holy Week liturgies promulgated by Pope Pius XII in 1955, special petitions were offered on this day against the church’s persecutors and for the Pope. These were suppressed in 1955, and with the exception of the change of the order of the Mass, the Mass given in the Missal of 1962 is virtually the same as the Mass in the Missal of Pope St. Paul VI.
The Masses of Tuesday and Wednesday are where we see real change. Prior to the reforms which followed the Second Vatican Council, the Passion according to St. Mark was read in full in the Mass of Tuesday, and that of St. Luke was read at the Mass of Wednesday; St. Matthew’s had been read on Palm Sunday. In the reformed Mass, the gospels of Palm Sunday are read on a three-year cycle so each year during Holy Week the faithful only hear two readings of the Passion: one from either Matthew, Mark, or Luke and then St. John’s version on Good Friday. In the older form of the Mass, all four Passion accounts were read during the course of the week.
There was a slight alteration in the length of the Passion readings from before 1955 and after. In the liturgies before 1955, the synoptic Passion readings included the account of the Last Supper. This section was removed after 1955 and the readings begin in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The modern Roman liturgy introduces two new Gospel readings for Tuesday and Wednesday, but with a sort of traditional flair. The reading given for Tuesday is Our Lord’s prediction of the betrayal of Judas at the Last Supper as given in St. John’s Gospel. The placement here is appropriate since the next day, Wednesday, is traditionally known as “Spy Wednesday” – when Judas met with the chief priests to arrange the manner in which he would betray Jesus. Naturally, the Gospel passage in the modern liturgy which is read on Wednesday is this the account of this meeting between Judas and the Jewish authorities as given in St. Matthew’s Gospel.
Thus, while the arrangement of the readings in the older form of the Mass were designed to bring the faithful’s attention to the events of the Passion itself, the readings of the newer form intentionally lead the faithful chronologically through the events of Holy Week in the order they played out.
One final note since I will not have space to provide a full column on this topic. In the early Medieval liturgical rites in use prior to the Council of Trent, these three days served as a final preparation for the Penitents to be given absolution on Holy Thursday morning. Formerly, grave public sinners brought themselves to the door of the Cathedral on Ash Wednesday when they were ceremonially ‘cast out’ of the church and given sackcloth to wear in penitence for all of Lent. In these last days, their penitence often took on a more physical form and they would beg outside the door of the Cathedral until the morning of Holy Thursday when the Bishop would prepare to meet them inside at the altar.
The deacon would go outside into the square and three times tell the penitents to approach the church. Three times the penitents would step forward and prostrate themselves. Once this was completed, the deacon took them by the hand and led them straight through the church and up to the altar where the Bishop would remove their sackcloth and grant them sacramental absolution. This would allow them to rejoin the faithful for the Mass of Holy Thursday night where they could once again partake in Holy Communion.
In my next column I will discuss a the traditional prayer service of Tenebræ, which is regaining popularity today in many parishes, as well as ways this service is even included, in an altered form, in the modern Liturgy of the Hours.

(Father Aaron Williams is the administrator at St. Joseph Parish in Greenville)

Social teachings make way for dialogue

Kneading Faith
By Fran Lavelle
I have been trying to process the devasting toll the coronavirus has had on so many around the world and the impact of George Floyd’s death. Every day seems to bring its own new set of challenges to our already highly emotionally charged world. In all of it I have been listening to the voices of our young people from teenagers to the 40-somethings. It occurred to me that the generations who were brought up watching Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and Barney have taken notice that we are not as Barney proclaimed, ”a happy family.” Watch the news, look at your social media newsfeed, talk to the younger members of your community and you will quickly hear their clarion call for change. And, in thinking about the messaging they grew up with, I totally understand where their clarion call is coming from. Moreover, I truly appreciate it.
In the past decade or so in this country we have allowed the politics of hatred to divide us so deeply that we have stopped seeing one another as God’s beloved and only as opposites. If you are not with us, you are our enemy. The divisiveness is driving wedges between co-workers, church members, friends and family. And the Body of Christ is suffering because we are quick to see one another as hostile enemies, forgetting that we share in our dignity as God’s beloved.
In Genesis 1:27 we read: “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” When the dignity of others is eroded by indifference, prejudice and distrust we stop seeing the beauty of God’s creation. The first Chapter of Genesis teaches us about the goodness of creation and the divine desire that human beings share in that goodness. God brings an orderly universe out of chaos and gives humanity dominion over it. With the power of dominion comes the responsibility to be good stewards of our resources.
The good news is that we have an excellent resource to help us have constructive dialogue. Catholic social teaching is the articulation of Catholic doctrines on matters of human dignity and common good in society. The following is a summary from the USCCB on the core principles of Catholic social teaching:
Life and Dignity of the Human Person: The Catholic church proclaims that human life is sacred, and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching.
Call to Family, Community and Participation: The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
Rights and Responsibilities: The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities – to one another, to our families and to the larger society.
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable: A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers: The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected.
Solidarity: We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. Pope St. Paul VI taught that “if you want peace, work for justice.”
Care for God’s Creation: We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation.
Let us listen to the voices of our young people and heed the call for unity.
“Each one of us is called to be an artisan of peace, by uniting and not dividing, by extinguishing hatred and not holding on to it, by opening paths to dialogue and not by constructing new walls!” – Pope Francis

(Fran Lavelle is the Director of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Jackson)

Featured photo . . .

OXFORD – Father Joe Tonos passes the Baptismal Candle to Mary Earrey who was Baptized on Pentecost at St. John the Evangelist in Oxford. Mary was one of eight people to be brought into the faith through the Sacraments of Initiation on May 31, 2020. (Photo by Gene Buglewicz)

Calendar of events

SAVE THE DATE

JACKSON St. Richard School, Save the Date Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, Krewe de Cardinal. Details: church office (662) 256-8392.
NATIONAL Virtual 2020 Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative, Oct. 1-2. The CIII seeks to understand, expand and strengthen the work of Catholic institutions with immigrant communities. Registration will open soon. To receive updates about registration, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/4gX2XS3enWoP9vAp9. Details: For details about the virtual conference visit https://cmsny.org/event/2020-catholic-immigrant-integration-initiative/

YOUTH/VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth, Virtual VBS, Monday July 6-10. You will receive a video playlist for each day of the week. Details: Call 662-624-4239 to reserve a spot.
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, CYO Virtual Summer Camp, Tuesday June 23-25. Ten service hours will be awarded to those who attend all three days. There will be small group discussions, speakers, games and more. Details: Call Carrie Lambert, youth director at 601-445-5616.
PEARL St. Jude, Drive-in VBS: Crayons – The Colorful Life of King David. Families will park their cars and enjoy a Bible story about King David, a snack and a story of a saint. Monday evenings 6:30-7 p.m. on June 15, 22, 29 and July 6, 13, 20, 27. For children in K-6th grade. Registration is required for the days you plan to attend. Details: Register at https://signup.com/go/thDEvnX.

Live streaming Mass listings

In person Masses are now open at many parishes within the Diocese of Jackson. Check with your local parish for details and follow guidelines in place for attendance.
Some parishes are still offering live streaming options to be present to their faith communities and bring Mass to the faithful.
The following is a listing of virtual Mass opportunities established by priests and parishes in the diocese.
The obligation to attend Mass continues to be dispensed, so if you do not feel safe attending, or have an underlying health condition, or feel sick, please stay hope. Be safe and stay vigilant!
All dates and times subject to change.

DEANERY I
CANTON Sacred Heart, Details: Saturday 4 p.m.; facebook @sacredheartcantonms
CAMDEN Sacred Heart, Details: Sunday 3 p.m.; facebook @sacredheartcamdenms
CLINTON Holy Savior, Details: follow YouTube – search Holy Savior Catholic Church Clinton
FLOWOOD St. Paul, Details: Sunday 10:30 a.m.; YouTube – search St. Paul Catholic Church and subscribe or facebook @StPaulCatholicChurch
JACKSON Cathedral of St. Peter, Details: Sunday 10:30 a.m. English, 1 p.m. Spanish; facebook @jacksondiocese, YouTube search Catholic Diocese of Jackson
JACKSON Christ the King, Details: Sunday 9 a.m.; facebook @CTKJacksonMs
JACKSON Holy Family, Details: Sunday 9:50 a.m.; facebook @HFCCJackson
JACKSON St. Richard, Details: Daily Monday through Friday 7 a.m., Saturday 8 a.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.; facebook @saintrichardms
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi, Details: Daily 7 a.m., Sundays 10:30 a.m.; facebook @stfrancisassisimadison and YouTube
PEARL St. Jude, Details: Tuesday 6 p.m., Wednesday 6 p.m., Thursday 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. English, 2 p.m. Spanish; facebook @stjudepearl
VICKSBURG St. Michael, Details: Sunday 8:30 a.m.; www.stmichaelvicksburg.org
VICKSBURG St. Paul, Details: Sunday 10:30 a.m.; facebook @Saint-Paul-Catholic-Church-of-Vicksburg-562031117586220

DEANERY II
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Details: Sunday 10 a.m.; facebook @stmarybasilica or visit https://greenwavesports.live

DEANERY III
GREENWOOD St. Francis of Assisi, Details: Daily 7:30 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m. English, 1:30 p.m. Spanish; facebook @stfrancisgreenwood
GREENVILLE St. Joseph, Details: Sunday 10:30 a.m.; facebook @St.-Joseph-Catholic-Church-of-Greenville-Mississippi-114619032033970

DEANERY IV
CATHOLIC PARISHES OF NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI (Holy Spirit Hernando, St. Joseph Holly Springs, Queen of Peace Olive Branch, Good Shepherd Robinsonville, St. Gregory the Great Senatobia, Christ the King Southaven) Details: Sunday English and Spanish; facebook @Catholic Parishes of Northwest Mississippi
CLEVELAND Our Lady of Victories, Details: Sunday 9 a.m. English, 11:30 a.m. Spanish; facebook @olvcleveland
CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth, Details: Daily Monday through Friday 12:10 p.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m.; facebook @stelizabethclarksdale

DEANERY V
CORINTH St. James the Less, Daily; Details: YouTube – search Saint James Corinth, MS
NEW ALBANY St. Francis of Assisi, Details: Sunday 11 a.m.; facebook @stfrancisnewalbanyms
OXFORD St. John, Details: Sunday 10 a.m.; facebook @StJohnoxfordMs
RIPLEY St. Matthew, Details: Sunday 1:30 p.m.; facebook @StMatthewRipley
STARKVILLE St. Joseph, Details: Sunday 10 a.m.; YouTube search St. Joseph Catholic Church Starkville
TUPELO St. James, Details: Daily Monday through Friday and Sunday 8 a.m. English, 10 a.m. Spanish; facebook @StJames-Catholic-Church-Tupelo-425836438235299

DEANERY VI
MERIDIAN St. Patrick and St. Joseph Community, Details: Saturday 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. English, 3 p.m. Spanish; facebook @catholiccommunitymeridian

NATION/ WORLDWIDE
VATICAN NEWS: Pope Francis’ events, Details: YouTube search Vatican News
EWTN: Daily events, Details: https://www.ewtn.com

Faith in action evident at St. Anne Carthage after August ICE raids

By Dorothy Balser
Father Odel Medina and one of the parish volunteers, Edgar speak about how St. Anne’s Carthage parishioners live out the calling of their faith on behalf of the “least of these.” (Matthew 25)

  1. What does it mean to you personally to put your Faith into Action?
    Edgar: First, I thank God for everything I have received from him. We are happy because many people are helping us. What we have is faith to help others. Thanks be to God that we are members of the church and the church is teaching us how we can help others.
    Until four years ago, I was not very close to the church. After I began to come to church more regularly, I was invited to be in a group. We have something like a parish council in our church called Directiva. Every year they have an election. When the election came, the people chose me as the president. I was very surprised and at the beginning I was afraid. “Why did they choose me?” But I give thanks for that experience. I have grown in a deeply spiritual way.
  2. In general, how does St. Anne’s show faith in action?
    Father Odel: I believe we are in a moment to be aware of God. You think that you believe, you have to show how you live your life. People are already aware that your faith must be in action. If somebody is in need, they know everybody. They try to help each other. If they can do it by themselves, they will do it. But if it is something bigger, the community will coordinate more in response. We have many different cases and the biggest experience was last year with the ICE raids. It was not only the Hispanic people but also the English-speaking parishioners that responded and asked me how they can help and contribute. They put their faith in action. And now, during this pandemic, we are all trying to assist people who got the virus. People at our parish have not only helped members in the parish, but their faith moved them to help anyone that was sick by bringing things to their door. I also suffered from the coronavirus and it was amazing how much they showed care for me by bringing things to my door. I witnessed how they cared, not just for me but for many others.
  3. Describe one or two of the ministries at St. Anne’s where faith in action is seen.
    Edgar: The Hispanic Relief Ministry started with the ICE raids. Father Odel called me to be part of the team. We did not have the experience to be a committee or to distribute the help we were receiving. But, thanks to Father Odel we were able to get organized to use the aid we were receiving to provide this help. In the beginning, we thought that nobody from outside wanted to help us. But I have come to realize – thanks be to God – there are many people that care about what we are doing at St. Anne’s. Although we are migrants, people are helping us and we are able to help people with rent, utility bills and food for their table. In my case, I could not say no. I myself am a migrant and I do not know what will happen tomorrow, so I was able to help right away.
  4. What impact has this faith in action ministry had on the people served and on those involved in the ministry?
    Father Odel: The people that serve have become more aware of how to put their faith in action. The ICE raid crisis made them more aware, more active, and more generous with their lives. The first person that responded to help the people affected by the raids was himself affected by the raid. He came to me and said even though we were affected, we need to do something. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves, they reached out to help others.
    The people who have been served feel less isolated. The church has been like an oasis for them. They know the church is supportive. Helping the people has made the church more credible.
  5. What challenges have you faced in developing this ministry and what kept you going in spite of the challenges?
    Father Odel: The ministry began in the midst of a crisis, a migration raid, and this brought a lot of fear, pain and sadness, so the challenge was to respond in times of crisis, for people the church was the only refuge where they could feel safe. Thanks to the help of many people around the country and Catholic Extension, families could be assisted.
    What has kept us in spite of the challenges is the word of God that tells us that he will always be with us. Besides, the support could be said at the national level for this ministry, in economic terms.
  6. What suggestions do you have for people (or parishes) that aren’t sure how to put their faith in action?
    Father Odel: First, as St. James says, faith without deeds is a dead faith. (James 2:14-26) Having faith, praying, talking with God will lead you to an action, the fruit of prayer. So, listen to what God is saying to you and asking for. And don’t be afraid he will give you the gifts.

(Witnesses of Faith in Action ministries in the Diocese of Jackson are featured each month. If you’d like to see your parish, school or group featured, contact editor@jacksondiocese.org.)

Hello Summer from St. Anthony

MADISON – The fifth and sixth grade team (Amanda Jones, Vicki Moorehead, Cyndie Robertson and Katie Williams) give St. Anthony students a summer sendoff. (Photos by Michele Warnock)
(Below) St. Anthony student, Justina Visgarra and her father, Walter, enjoy the celebration parade that St. Anthony school had to honor sixth grader students.

In memorium: Sister Antoninne Thoma

MILWAUKEE – Please remember in prayer Sister Antonienne Thoma, OSF, 86, who died May 30 at the Sacred Heart retirement and health care home in Milwaukee. Sister celebrated her 70-year Jubilee earlier this year.
Born in Danville, Illinois, Sister Antonienne received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Alverno College in Milwaukee, a Master of Arts degree in Special Education from DePaul University in Chicago and a Master of Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago.

Sister Antonienne Thoma, OSF

Serving with Sacred Heart Southern Missions (SHSM) for more than nine years, Sister Antonienne began volunteering with SHSM in 2005 by helping Sister Adelia Milligan in the Hernando social service office. Her assistance proved invaluable and she was soon brought on board permanently as receptionist/office assistant. She, along with Sister Adelia, a fellow School Sister of St. Francis, retired in 2015.
During her 70 years in religious life, Sister Antonienne spent most of her time in the Central United States. She previously served in Illinois, Ohio, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin, where she worked in many areas, including education, pastoral care and administration, and as a disability diagnostician and ministry director for her community of the School Sisters of St. Francis.
A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Joseph Chapel in Milwaukee for Sister Antonienne on Friday, June 5. Due to the precautionary measures that have been taken by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to protect the health and safety of all persons in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, the service was closed to all but the Celebrant and Liturgical Ministers. However, there are plans to have a gathering of remembrance for Sister Antonienne at a later date.

Todas las Vidas Importan

Por Rhina Guidos
WASHINGTON (CNS) – Últimamente, las calles frente a la Casa Blanca se llenaron de miles de rostros juveniles con carteles o camisetas que pedían justicia racial, con los puños levantados en el aire o posando para selfies con un gran signo de “Black Lives Matters”.
Ese letrero ahora cuelga de una valla alta destinada a mantener a los manifestantes fuera del Parque Lafayette, el lugar al que los turistas generalmente acuden y se toman sus fotos con el emblemático edificio en el fondo.
Pero el 8 de junio, el espacio estaba lleno de mujeres y hombres religiosos que vestían sus hábitos y sacerdotes con collares romanos; algunos llevaban rosarios y letreros con Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y la imagen de San Oscar Romero. Y cientos de laicos y al menos dos obispos de la Arquidiócesis de Washington se unieron a la protesta católica.
“La voz católica como grupo, como familia necesita ser escuchada”, dijo el padre Cornelius Ejiogu, miembro de la Sociedad de San José del Sagrado Corazón, mejor conocido como los Josefitas. Él, junto con otros, ayudó a organizar el evento. “Sé que muchos sacerdotes y hermanas han venido aquí individualmente para rezar por la paz y la justicia, pero sentimos que nuestra iglesia, como una sola, puede unirse”.

WASHINGTON – Una mujer religiosa sostiene una pancarta en la que se lee ” Me arrepiento de mi racismo”, mientras participa en una protesta en oración frente a la Casa Blanca el 8 de junio de 2020, luego de la muerte de George Floyd, un hombre afroamericano desarmado, inmovilizado por el cuello, por un policía durante más de ocho minutos antes de ser llevado al hospital. (Foto CNS / Bob Roller)

Los Obispos Auxiliares de Washington Roy E. Campbell y Mario E. Dorsonville asistieron al evento que incluyó oraciones, canciones y lecturas de la Biblia y una lectura de los nombres de los negros estadounidenses que murieron en actos violentos de injusticia racial, más recientemente George Floyd, el 25 de mayo, cuando un agente de policía blanco de Minneapolis lo inmovilizó en el suelo; visto en un video presionando su cuello con su rodilla durante casi nueve minutos, lo que provocó protestas, no solo en los EE. UU., sino en otras partes del mundo.
El padre Ejiogu dijo que el obispo retirado John H. Ricard de Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, que vive en Baltimore, donde es el superior general de los josefinos, asistió al evento.
La multitud oró por aquellos cuyos nombres se mencionaron, pero también por “aquellos que murieron y cuyos nombres no conocemos”, dijo el padre Ejiogu. El evento fue rezar por justicia y paz “y pedirle a Dios reconciliación”, dijo.
“Lo que hemos visto estas últimas semanas … no es la nación que queremos, la América en la que creemos”, dijo en una entrevista con Catholic News Service. “Estados Unidos está destrozado por el orgullo, el racismo y la injusticia. Por lo tanto, queremos aprovechar esta oportunidad para pedirle a Dios que nos reconcilie”.
Católicos se han unido a la multitud de manifestantes que han salido a las calles de Washington desde el asesinato de Floyd.
“Creo que todas las vidas importan, Jesús específicamente diría que todas las vidas importan, pero ¿todos en este país tienen la misma justicia? ¿Todos tenemos los mismos privilegios? No. Hay algunas personas que no tienen los mismos privilegios,” Padre Dijo Ejiogu.
“Entonces, estamos diciendo que esas personas que están privadas de sus derechos,…no es una cuestión de separación, no. Le estamos pidiendo a Dios que nos sane para que podamos reconocer que todos somos hermanos y hermanas”.
Dijo que reconoció que no todos los católicos estaban de acuerdo con lo que el grupo se proponía hacer.
Una de ellas era Maryanne Pennell, de Front Royal, Virginia, que llevaba un cartel de “Trump Pro-Life” cerca del grupo. “Estoy aquí, así que digamos Pro-vida es lo que importa”, dijo. “Todas las personas, no basadas en su piel o su nacionalidad o su historia, basadas en ser estadounidenses o estar en Estados Unidos”.
Lo que se necesita es más diálogo, le dijo a CNS, y estaba haciendo su parte, hablando pacíficamente con otros que, curiosos por su defensa del presidente Donald Trump, se detuvieron para hablar con ella.
“Eso es parte de lo que debería ser hoy”, dijo. “Otros dicen, ‘¿Qué piensas?” y yo digo: “¿Qué te parece?” Así es como funciona Estados Unidos, no hay juicio. Funciona en diálogo y podemos estar en desacuerdo respetuosamente”.
Por supuesto, las vidas de los negros importan, “pero todas las vidas importan, comenzando por los no nacidos”, dijo, y agregó que creía que ningún otro presidente había hecho tanto como Trump por la causa pro vida.
“Estoy aquí para decir que el Sr. Trump nos ha dado una voz para toda la vida”, dijo. “Ha defendido la vida y la Constitución de los Estados Unidos”.
Pero para aquellos como ella, dijo el Padre Ejiogu, él solo quería decir que “simplemente estamos aquí para rezar y llamar a nuestra Santísima Madre de la iglesia, los santos, para que nos ayuden a sanar y poder reconocer las vidas importan, las vidas blancas importan, las vidas españolas importan, las vidas asiáticas importan, todas las vidas, sí, pero hay algunas de esas vidas que parecen sentir que no importan. Eso es todo lo que pedimos”.
Darwin Kemp, miembro de los Caballeros de Colón en Washington, dijo que asistió porque, como otros, “la gente está harta y cansada de la injusticia”.
“Todos hemos sufrido alguna injusticia durante bastante tiempo, incluyéndome a mí mismo. He estado luchando durante mucho tiempo, pero he estado luchando individualmente”, dijo. Ahora es el momento de hacerlo como grupo, dijo, porque el racismo debe terminar.
La hermana Nancy Conboy, de las Hermanas Franciscanas de la Expiación, dijo que asistió en solidaridad con los demás, pero también para afirmar las enseñanzas de la iglesia que dicen que “como católicos, realmente creemos en la igualdad para todas las personas,… pero creo que en nuestro país, tenemos una historia de racismo, así que es importante que lo reconozcamos”.
Aunque no todos estarían de acuerdo con el evento, dijo el Padre Ejiogu, él continuaría orando por la unidad en el tema dentro y fuera de la iglesia.
“No puedo decirle a Dios qué hacer, pero puedo preguntar”, dijo. “Lo que le pido a Dios con mis amigos, familias y feligreses que están ayudando a organizar esto, le estoy pidiendo a Dios que nos sane. Eso es todo lo que podemos hacer es orar por la curación y, con suerte, Dios escuchará nuestras peticiones y responderá , y nuestro país puede ser mucho mejor de lo que es porque simplemente estar sentado en casa sin hacer nada no me sirve de nada”.
Dijo que las imágenes que más le han dado esperanza, incluso en medio de las tensas protestas, eran de jóvenes blancos, negros, asiáticos, latinos, “personas de todos los colores que salen y protestan pacíficamente”.
“Esa es la imagen que se destacó para mí”, dijo.”decir la verdad al poder y hacerlo de una manera más orante.”

Vida sin esperanza: Vida sin sentido

Por Hermana Maria Elena Mendez, MGSpS.
“El que espera desespera”, dice el dicho, pero la vida sin esperanza pierde su rumbo. La espera se relacionada con la paciencia como virtud y, como tal, la podemos practicar todos los días al tomar conciencia de nuestra impaciencia. De lo contrario, forzamos el tiempo y abortamos la vida en cualquiera de sus circunstancias.
Desesperarse en el tiempo, arruina el proceso natural de la flor, de la naturaleza, del bebé, de la vida, de Dios.
En Juan 16, 12-15, Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: “Aún tengo muchas cosas que decirles, pero todavía no las pueden comprender, pero cuando venga el Espíritu de la verdad, él los irá guiando hasta la verdad plena”. Con esa frase, pienso en la importancia y el beneficio de la espera (ante esta pandemia que les tocó vivir) para poder aprender de ella más tarde.
Todos los días esperamos algo o a alguien, aunque no siempre lo hacemos de la mejor manera y por la impaciencia, destruimos fácilmente la belleza de lo que se aproxima a nuestras vidas. Si aprendemos a esperar, gozaremos al máximo el momento esperado.

BRANDON – Después de una larga espera por la cuarentena del COVID-19, las Hermanas Misioneras Guadalupanas del Espíritu Santo de Alabama, visitan a las hermanas en MS. Se saludan, aunque sea de “codazo” (antes un gesto de mal gusto y ahora prueba de amor). (i-d) María Eugenia Moreno y María Elena (Foto cortesía de Maria Elena Méndez, MGSpS)

Según el diccionario, esperar es “tener esperanza de lograr algo que se desea. “Creer que sucederá.” “Detener el movimiento hasta la llegada de algo, hacer tiempo.”
En estos momentos de la vida, con el COVID-19 en nuestro entorno, practicar la espera o la paciencia es fundamental:
Esperamos que los científicos se dejen iluminar por el Espíritu de Dios, que descubran pronto la vacuna y que trabajen mundialmente unidos y, no cada país por su cuenta.
Esperamos a que los negocios, las Iglesias, los trabajos, las escuelas abran y que nos sintamos seguros para salir de casa.
Esperamos con ansia el encuentro afectuoso de familiares y amigos, el abrazo y poder celebrar juntos.
Esperamos desesperados, “la normalidad”, aunque sabemos que esto no será posible, la realidad nos pide volver con actitudes y comportamientos nuevos.
Esperamos la noche para dormir y el canto de los pájaros que nos dicen que el movimiento ha empezado al amanecer.
Esperamos que transcurra el día sin contratiempos y aparezca en sol en el ocaso despidiendo el día y dándole la bienvenida a la noche.
Esperamos a que la oruga se convierta en una bella y juguetona mariposa en la primavera, ver el capullo del árbol brotar y aparezca la hoja, la flor, el fruto.
Esperamos la lluvia, el calor para la siembra y la cosecha.
Esperamos que el calor y viento del otoño sacuda lo seco de la naturaleza, se renueve en invierno y resurja el ciclo de vida nuevamente.
Esperamos a que el enojo pase para darnos el abrazo de la reconciliación.
En nuestra vida espiritual, esperamos recorrer la sequedad del desierto en la cuaresma con la Pasión, Muerte de Jesús y para gozar luego de Resurrección en el Oasis que saciará la sed del corazón en nuestra propia vida.
Uno de los grandes ejemplos de paciente espera es una madre embarazada que aguarda en su vientre pacientemente el crecimiento de su hijo o hija por nueve largos meses, sin importar la incomodad que vive todos los días, hasta tenerlo gozosa en sus brazos.
Así como la naturaleza y como los discípulos, esperamos que el “Espíritu nos guie hasta la verdad plena” es esos días que siguen siendo de incertidumbre.
¡Practiquemos la paciencia y la espera, creamos en que las cosas cambiarán en nuestro entorno y en nosotros mismos, pero no sin la práctica de la espera de nuestra parte!

(La hermana María Elena Méndez es Misionera Guadalupana del Espíritu Santo. Es actualmente la Directora Ejecutiva de Servicios Católicos de West Alabama)