Today’s Reflection from Father Dave

Friday was difficult. Saturday came, and I did not take my morning walk to open the churches and could not write. Yes, at times darkness descends and I forget those words of Monsignor Clem McKenna: “A priest must be a man of HOPE!” Monsignor had been the Director of St. Vincent’s School for Boys and then a mentor and confidant of mine as I began my ministry at the same Treatment Center.

I began these writings on the Ides of March when the church was closed to public celebrations of the Eucharist. At the time, my intent was to write hopefully uplifting reflections to chronicle this period in our lives. I used the great Thumper’s advice in that classic film, Bambi: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Saturday I could not find anything “nice” to say.

When I did not send my early morning blog, my editor checked in and then responded to my reply: “Hope is the antidote.” (Aren’t you impressed that I have an editor?) A little later I received an email from another about the parable of the Four Candles which concluded “the greatest of these is Love, but the flame of Hope should never go out of your life.” Trying to clear my head, I walked outside and wondered why so much dirt, leaves, and twigs were on the doorstep. Looking up I saw a newly made bird’s nest over the doorway, which I am told is a sign of hope and new life. My comment to the Lord: “Enough already, I get it; I must be a man of Hope.”

So today as we begin the holiest of weeks a little reflection on a painting by Holman Hunt, The Light of the World. In this painting the artist depicts Jesus standing outside a door with a lantern in His raised hand. If you look closely, you realize there is no doorknob. It seems to suggest that Christ the Light desires to enter our homes, our lives, but you and I need to open the door for Him. This my friends is not the faith we profess.

If there is anything we learn during these next days and weeks ahead is that a closed and locked door does not stop the Lord from entering. When the disciples would hide away in fear behind locked doors, the Risen Christ still came to them. The Lord’s first words, “Peace be with you.”

When times are difficult, when we find we can no longer help ourselves or open the door to let the light in, God can still come through and breathe peace into our lives. We will walk through some difficult times together this week, but we are fortunate for we know the end of the story. Jesus stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”

In Faith, Hope, and Love,

Father Dave