Stand by Me

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.

Recent News

May 28, 2020 - The international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network Fr. Frederic Fornos, SJ, yesterday announced that he has named Fr. Joseph Laramie, SJ, the new national director for the United States.

May 27, 2020 - The Ignatian Spirituality Institute, while closed to in-person services, is working overtime to provide the spiritual guidance necessary to sort through these unprecedented times.

May 25, 2020 – In two of the more memorable and elegantly simple ceremonies in recent history, on May 24 Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall, ordained one priest and five deacons.

May 20, 2020 - Father A. Ferdinand Derrera, SJ, died May 15, 2020, in Grand Coteau, La. He was 96 years old, a Jesuit for 68 years and a priest for 58 years.

May 18, 2020 - In response to calls from both the Society of Jesus and the Church, the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province has established a Commission on Care for Our Common Home.

May 18, 2020 - In his sermon Fr. Paul Deutsch, SJ, challenges us to find the work of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.

May 18, 2020 — Fr. Garanzini succeeds Fr. Michael J. Sheeran, SJ, beginning July 1.

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Manresa House of Retreats is located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Convent, La., midway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.