Homily by Fr. Paul Deutsch, SJ
Gospel: John 8: 21-30
Tuesday, March 31 – There is a phrase in English: “stood by me.” Usually I hear it spoken in the past tense and normally in the singular. It conveys that I trust a specific person because that person supported me at a difficult time. When I needed someone to lean on, that person was strong for me.
I point out that this phrase, in my experience, is usually in the past tense because we don’t know if someone will stick around until times actually become problematic. Plus, it seems often to refer to one person – as the experience of being supported at a difficult moment is rare. So, we say “he was there when I needed help” or “she could be counted on in difficult straits.”
In this dependable relationship, we move forward trusting. We do not ask for proof as we already have that. We step ahead presuming on this person’s support.
We are in difficult times now and we are called to keep moving forward. If our discipleship has taught us that Jesus has stood by us, then I believe that the question that confronts us is not “why?” but rather “how?”
For those who are fearful, who are anxious, who are unsure that Jesus stands by them – how can we spread encouragement to them?
Creativity is needed as the state and national officials are requiring us to shelter safely, to keep proper distancing when interacting in person. An example of creativity is Jesuit livestreaming Mass. The school website now has resources specific to this time of the Coronavirus.
A sense of personal connect can be maintained and strengthened through audio and video calls. Many meetings now are happening through teleconference.
“Stood by me.” May this compliment be paid to our school and to our Church during this worrisome, anxious time. May our creative solutions connect us in this time of distancing.
The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.