I have been writing a blog called I of the Needle off and on since 2011. My intent was to share my faith journey with anyone who might stumble across the site. The idea behind the title was a bit of a play on Jesus’ teaching regarding the rich – you know, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Mt 19:24) Anyway, there is more to the name I hope to share in the future, but I bring up the blog for another reason. As we celebrate Easter and the Lord’s resurrection, I’m reminded of a sense of loss I experienced and wrote about almost eight years ago.
On Saturday, May 19, 2012 I wrote about the passing of our pastor at St. Colman. Fr. Norbert Kendzierski had been visibly ill through the latter part of Lent and all through Holy Week that year, yet he pressed on for his flock. His passing just before we celebrated the Ascension of the Lord left me wondering how the apostles might have felt after Jesus’ crucifixion.
When you know how a story ends, it is difficult to fully grasp or relate to what those involved in the story are experiencing. For three years the apostles followed Jesus, putting great faith and hope in him, that he was the Messiah, the one who would rule all Israel and return it to power! Yet, on what we celebrate as Good Friday, their great hope was crushed with Jesus’ death on the cross. As they hid in fear during the hours and days between Jesus’ death and resurrection, the apostles had no idea what the future held. Similarly, when I opened St. Colman and set up for Mass the Sunday after Fr. Norbert died, I had no idea what the future held. That moment gave me a greater appreciation for what they were experiencing.
We are going through similar uncertainties and sense of loss as we patiently abide by the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” mandate. While not being able to attend Mass in person, we ask ourselves, what does the future hold for us? When will life return to normal? Will there be a new normal and what might it be? But as we celebrate Easter, apart as we may be, we celebrate the promise of Jesus fulfilled! He told his apostles he would be raised from the dead and he was. He told his apostles he would send his Holy Spirit, and he has. Jesus told Peter he would be the rock upon which the Church is built, and here it stands!
When I think back on those days and weeks eight years ago it serves two purposes. I am reminded the loss and uncertainty felt then was, as it is now, real and rightly unsettling. So too was loss and uncertainty for the apostles in their time. Yet the hope held onto then, is the same hope held onto now. We know how the hope of the apostles manifest itself – in the spread of the Gospel throughout the world! I know how the hope eight years ago manifest itself – in beautiful ways I couldn’t have imagined. Our hope for the future, grounded in Jesus, will be glorious, because he said so.
Praying that you and yours have a blessed and glorious Easter,
Editor’s note: Going forward, Deacon Mike’s blog can be found in the list of resource links at the bottom of our website homepage.