Today’s Reflection from Father Dave

Cannot share the burden, but I can walk with you.

To once again bore you with my pilgrimage walks (like being invited over to someone’s house to watch videos or slides of their vacation), this time it is about backpacks.

Backpacks are fitted for each person. Go in; they measure you, and help adjust the straps. But in the end, it is you who carry the pack and all that you put into it. I found that as I walked, I fiddled with the pack; I felt the weight, where it rubbed wrong, and thought about it often. I was and still am a solo walker, enjoying the quiet and prayerful times that have been part of these treks.

As in any Camino, you meet others and at times find yourself keeping company. It was during these times that my pack and its discomforts were forgotten. The person I walked with did not take any of the weight off my shoulders, did not carry the pack for me, but the companionship helped lighten the burden.

I thought of this on Sunday when out for a walk with Mack (my black labrador). I came across a member of our community who was out trying to clear her heart and soul over difficult decisions that had to be made during this time. She agonized over the future as we talked across the street from one another. Never had I felt so completely useless to another, and all we could do was give a virtual hug during these times.

The gospel yesterday was the story of Jesus curing the synagogue official’s son, but different than most of the healing stories of Jesus, the child is distant from the physical touch of Jesus. We cannot in these times be physically present to those who are struggling in isolation, fear, and anxiety. We cannot relieve the physical, emotional, and even spiritual burdens they carry, but we can simply travel with them, walk beside them and listen.

We strive not to share the virus, but we can share the journey and somehow that makes a difference.

Your Wandering Padre
Fr. Dave