The Holiness Will Find us this Week

April 5, 2020

In the Liturgy today, we begin with a procession proclaiming Jesus as King.  “Hosanna in the Highest” we all exclaim.  In the same liturgy we recall the Passion of the Lord, His arrest, His trial and His untimely death by crucifixion.  It is a paradox…those who gathered and lined the streets could not be found on Calvary.  Where the Kingdom was most present, with Jesus crucified on the cross, only a few spectators were found.   When all this happened even the followers of Jesus who walked closely with Him were filled with fear.  No one understood what was going on.  Sometimes we all might feel that way.  It is a paradox. We know our faith and we long to profess it and we long for these mysteries that unite us and identify us.

I used to identify myself as a runner.  I used to run a marathon a year in the fall, and a half marathon in the spring.  Training upon training was my prayer time and the passion in that chapter of my life.  I have struggled lately to find any kind of energy to run.  While I will mall walk and sometimes get out for a walk/run on the Fox River, the times are sparse and not as frequent as they used to be.  I can get caught up in the laments of it being not as it used to be.  The other day as I went for a walk, since we are staying in place, I walked the neighborhood wrestling with what isn’t and what can’t be.  As I made the corner and entered the parking lot, I stopped to pray.  I went to the next spot and prayed.  I prayed for everyone who ever parked in this spot, whether often or just once in a great while.  In each parking spot is a story.  The vehicles that parked between the lines carried passengers, some handicapped, some so young they needed to be carried in.  Sometimes we park in the same row and same spot like our daily Mass crowd, others just go where they can find an open spot and thank God they found it.  The parking lot contains our story.  As I prayed and went from spot to spot, I realized that God was inviting me to realize holiness will come to us.  While we have usually found our way over obstacles to present ourselves to the mystery, God is now overcoming the obstacles in these great holy and sacred three days, which I love. All the power which God places in them for us to experience, He still will, and this year holiness will find us.  I found peace in the lines of the parking lot.  I found holiness finding me.  The next day, so did my passion to get out and run.  It all began with putting on running clothes from the start.  It began with allowing the passion and desire to come to me instead of me trying to go and find it.

These are unprecedented times.  While my faith is stronger than ever, my expression of it has changed since the locking up of the place where we worship.  I am in agreement with all that is being done to keep us doing the right thing to curb the outbreak for our families and friends.  I know holiness will find us.  I believe that the power of God will light a fire within us that will connect to our Easter fire.  He will invite us to a renewal of Baptismal vows that will find us washing the feet of one another.  He will give us new eyes that will recognize Jesus in the Breaking of the Bread.  Fear not, for holiness will meet us this Holy Week.

Reverend  John J. Ouper