March 30, 2020 (Fifth Monday in Lent)
Members of Holy Rosary Parish:
The Mass readings of the day tell the story of two women. Both of whom have been accused, judged, charged, and threatened with execution. The first women Susanna and the second women of unknown name are thrown into a surreal world of cruelty and murderous hate. The women have been charged with the crimes of which the penalty is to be stoned to death. Perhaps we remember these stories over the years yet try imagine hearing them for the first time. Our eyes might fill with tears. To imagine religious leaders, learned men and women, a fairly cultured society, to kill in the name of God, for a moral crime is heart rendering. Perhaps we have seen or heard individuals demand the worst of someone for some moral infraction or grave crime. Someone who has had an abortion, someone who has had an affair, or someone who has abused, someone living an inappropriate lifestyle. And then to hear from the mouth of someone say these offenders ought to be assigned the most barbaric of punishments is heart stopping. It might be that they don’t really mean what they say. Yet on a deeper level, anecdotal evidence might suggest, their personal rage or their self- righteousness masks their own complicity in the very same acts. Daniel saves Susanna from the rage. He prefigures Jesus. And then in the gospel Jesus now saves the unknown women from the same rage.
Jesus stands up to the mob think, the mob rage, the mob hypocrisy. He is teaching us to examine those places in our lives where we have also demanded the worst retribution of others. To look for those places in our lives for doing the same thing but did not get caught. For wanting the worst to happen to someone who has spoken ill of us, for starting rumors, for talking behind our backs, and yet how many times have we done the same thing. Jesus is asking us not to take the route of hate and retribution. Not to take the route of hypocrisy. Rather take the route of love. He didn’t overlook the sins of the women in the gospel. He didn’t say to her don’t worry about it. He calls her to a better way. He saves her. He is calling us to a better way. He saves us. He is inviting us to change our rage to love. Jesus does not hate or condemn. He loves the women. He loves us. And saves us in times of great danger.
Thank you to all who have signed up to help CARE FOR NEIGHBOURS TEAM. I am beginning to receive calls for help. I appreciate those who have been assigned to a neighbour. Keep contact with them.
Thank you to the Live Streaming Mass team. We are still working on technical issues. Thanks for your patience and for tuning in. Further instructions will come for those with audio or visual issues. I heard 97 tuned in!
I have heard word that Palms for Palm Sunday will be coming to the Parish. They will be blessed and I will place them outside parish office door entrance on Palm Sunday. You will see them on a table for pick up through the day.
Pray Rosary 4 PM each day for the sick and afflicted and an end to the pandemic.
Mass was offered today for the repose of the soul of Carl Bunnaman.
All mail please drop off in Rectory mail box by the kitchen door. Place your mass requests, prayers, messages, etc.
Courage. With my blessing,
Fr. Vernon P. Boyd S.J.
Holy Rosary Parish, 175 Emma Street, Guelph, ON, N1E 1V6
519-822-4701 x 22 www.holyrosaryguelph.ca