Fr. Kevin’s Column

May 24, 2020

Dear friends of God,

The other day I participated in an afternoon meditation and reflection supported by the World Community for Christian Meditation. It was sponsored by a meditation center in London, England and led by a monk in France. And I was participating in Pinconning. It reminded me that our world is quite small and that we are not alone in these challenging times. There is an important unity in our human family and in our common home that we call the earth. The talk began with the sharing of what is known as the World Peace Prayer.

 

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth;

lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust;

lead me from hate to love, from war to peace.

Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.

 

These words are as powerful and significant as they were when they were first composed thousands of years ago in the Hindu religion.

These poetic words are now known as the World Peace Prayer. It speaks to our universal heart. It gives voice to our human longing for peace. This prayer has been prayed and sung by many diverse people in the “tossed salad” that we are as a human family with the variety of tastes and spices that make up God’s creation. These words have been spoken by the holiest of holy people such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, in parish churches around the world, as well as by holy Hindu seekers. These words have been placed upon the human heart by God himself. There is a practice around the world to pray these words at noon. It might be a good idea to give this a try while we are home and even beyond this time.

 

We are in a world that seems fueled by falsehood when God calls us to truth. There are many on all sides of our partisan divide who use falsehood to further divide God’s children from one another.

 

People of faith will easily see the truth that there is a dark force in our polarization. God leads us from falsehood to truth, while Satan thrives on division.

God never abandons us. He is leading us even while some would distract us from the path of life. The Good News of Jesus Christ is that Jesus is with us “…always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). This is why we can say with hope that it is our God that leads us to compassion, love and peace. It is God who transforms our hearts. It is our Resurrected God who leads us from death to true life.

 

This weekend we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of the Lord. For much of the life of the Church, this feast was celebrated on a Thursday around the time of the 40th day of the Easter Season. A number of years ago, some areas in the world began to celebrate this day on a Sunday. On this day, our first reading is from the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles. In it, we hear the author of Acts refer to his first writing, the Gospel of Luke. “In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. The name Theophilus is translated as “lover of God.” We might say that the Acts of the Apostles was written for all of us who desire to be lovers of God, those of us who are so fond of God and want to model our lives on his Son, Jesus Christ. We believe that on our journey to God, Jesus is always with us. Even though he has ascended to the Father, he is still in our midst leading the way to the Father.

 

We will begin to have Masses again soon. Bishop Gruss will be giving us direction on how this will happen. It will look a bit different for a time, and we all need to be patient with one another. Even though I have been celebrating Mass consistently during these weeks, it will be very good to once again hear the responses to the prayers and the Mass.

 

Let the Church say Amen!
 
Much love,