Reflection on Last Day of Public Masses

the first station of the cross is Pilate condemning Jesus to death and it does so by a symbolic action we know from the scriptures of washing his hands of the matter of Jesus in fact in this beautiful iconography style of the station in our church you can see in the very center the wash Bowl and the pitcher in the towel by which Pilate washes his hands binds Jesus and sends him off to torture and death Lent 2020 has been consumed it would seem by the topic of the washing of hands Pilate in his day certainly had no idea that the simple act of washing the hands could save one from a threat to health from the things that were unseen on the surface of the skin we’re very much aware of that and we’re aware of how Lent seems to be consumed with that topic so soon after washing his hands with the matter with Jesus Jesus accepts his cross as the second station tells us this day March 17 2020 has been an unimaginable day that because of serious health concern for reasonable cause Archbishop Coakley has suspended all public masses in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City it’s a stunning development and something that’s hard for us to wrap our minds around but I suggest to us that in this land which has been so consumed by concern for illness and virus kovat 19 the corona virus that we recognize this time as a time to accept the cross of what is before us to accept the cross of seeming absence and accept the cross of having the things that we rely upon kind of being taken away from us that we might unite ourselves more deeply with the Lord who was stripped and who had everything of his glory taken away we do this because we recognize that the Lord accepted the cross to save us from an unseen poison unseen illness that deforms that destroys that takes away life and separates us from him the the reality of sin much like something that we can’t see on the surface of the skin that illness that disease of sin separates us from God and saps the life from us and so as this lent has been consumed by the health concern traveling across the globe might we recognize an opportunity even in these strange circumstances and imaginal circumstances to be united more deeply with the Lord there is an emptiness no doubt as I’m aware that from this point forward as things stand as a priest I’ll be having the Holy Sacrifice of the mass each day but in an empty church the church has never seemed more empty silence never more deafening as I have come to close the church up for the day than it seems right now and something is not right but we know that something was not right that our Savior came to save us and that he accepted the cross to heal us and to give us newness of life and we not lose sight of that and we recognize that he is not far from us he has not abandoned us though the things we rely upon are not things that we can grasp as easily anymore his grace his power unseen at times as it is just still evermore powerfully with us we adore you oh Christ and we bless you because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world

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