Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This past week we have witnessed a devastating fire that ripped through one of the most revered monuments of faith well known throughout the Western world, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.
People watched in horror as this place of worship that dates back more than 800 years, was enveloped in flames. The cathedral is viewed as a national symbol of France, a symbol of faith that defines itself within Western Catholic culture, as well as an architectural masterpiece.
The emotions that were elicited among the people of France and of the world were evident in the daily gatherings of many in front of the Cathedral singing and praying in the face of destruction. Miraculously, more than a billion dollars had already been raised for the restoration of the Cathedral. What love, appreciation and reverence has been demonstrated to rebuild and restore this monument of faith.
The metaphor is appropriate for this Eastertide. The Church, the Body of Christ has been devastated and wounded many times over. The discouragement this brings is enough for many to question their faith or even consider leaving the Church however when events like what happened to Notre Dame de Paris bring many people together to pray there is hope that ultimately, as we share in the collective pain of the Body, we also rise back up to restore, refresh, revive, and rebuild.
During the Lenten Season leading to the Sacred Triduum, we listened and reflected on how Christ was threatened by the status quo and eventually reduced to sweat, blood and tears in His passion. His promise of the resurrection kept that spark of faith focused forward moving beyond the limits of sin and weakness witnessing to new life, that continues to offer us fresh opportunities and a renewed sense of hope.
Let us accompany one another as we move forward celebrating the new life that Christ, the Risen Lord, continues to offer us daily, especially through the Eucharist. Our Broken Body is made whole as we celebrate Easter 2019 restoring unity, refreshing our practice of charity, reviving the truth of who we are as members of the Body of Christ, and rebuilding community stone by stone.
Blessed and grace-filled Easter to all,
Fr. Tony Pizzo