Sunday, March 29, 2020


Rise From the Dead

Happy Resurrection Sunday! In today's gospel Lazarus is raised from the dead after being in the tomb 4 days by Jesus.

 Jesus knew that this delay would be to glorify God.

Jesus also loved Lazarus and his sisters so He wept. Then raising His eyes to heaven he said in a loud voice to rise and walk out.

John 11:1-45

Perhaps this scripture can give us some insight on how to handle our CV crisis.

God is infinitely and exponentially more powerful and  than this or any virus. And where science leads and teaches us..the gap to God's love and power and peace is gargantuan.

There is no doubt this is a precarious time for us as a global community and country. We all process information differently and have our own unique trigger points.

Our economy is shut down and many of us are physically isolated. We are concerned for those at risk and want to protect them.

But where is God in this for you? Our fear may drive us to Him in desperation or away from Him toward science and logic and of course some no only don't believe but have disdain for Him..why would He allow this? How could Jesus allow Lazarus to die? How could God allow his only begotten son Jesus to go thru the passion and Crucifixion?

In this scripture..a tragedy was allowed so we could glorify God. How can we glorify God thru this ordeal?

Jesus wept. How can we show compassion and also weep? 

Jesus acted by looking to the heavens and raising Lazarus from the dead. How can we raise our eyes to heaven and act to save lives?  Most of our roles are to sit at home and physically isolate. How can we glorify God and raise our eyes to heaven even if this all we do? Perhaps if we do, HE can inspire us do other things as well. We are designed to help in our unique ways. Let's allow God to magnify that.

We all have faith that we can help and that this will pass. This is the good that God has instilled in us. This CV crisis has connected all of us..worldwide in a way few things could have. Jesus coming back would be one. :-)

But how much more can we do if we put Him first?

He is constantly calling us but we have the choice to ignore and follow our own self direction. He has created us to be free. It is a collective choice we have made more often than not to be self is our human condition. And so perhaps we are here because of our choices.

So I am here advocating for us to make different choices. Who is first now? Science? Logic? Denial? Yourself? Your family? The common good? 

Almost none of these are bad things. But none should be first. God should be first. Why?

Well let's drill down a bit. The author of life and the Universe promises peace. Peace be with you. Will you get their with one quick prayer, or a rosary or family prayer at night. If this is the first time you are doing it and are not surrendering wholeheartedly...maybe not.

But you have to start from where you are. If you only practice one thing daily let it be your anchor.
The rosary may be your anchor if the Eucharist and Eucharistic adoration are not available. Just know we all have an anchor to the divine and no one can take that away...not even CV.

If the  Scientists, the President, the Surgeon General you and me anchor ourselves to God how much more correct can our thoughts and actions be?  Even though we are in a very precarious position, panic and fear that are an engine unto itself will not lead us to make the best choices. Sometimes we have to act fast but more often that not calm will help much more.

Who can lead us? God. He is ready, willing and able to help. Do we have faith that He can?  Can He help the scientists get inspired after sweating it out to come up with an anti-viral that works at least some of the time at least. How about a concoction of antivirals that helps more while we wait for the breakthrough? There are a myriad of other solutions. It can happen and it will..perhaps exponentially faster if we lean into GOD.

If God leads we will NOT want to party on or be so holed up in our house that we don't look for safe ways to help others. We will stop keeping the focus on ourselves to the point where it hinders us to do things that help others as HE inspires us and at worst paralyzes us.

How does panic help us devise solutions in the future to get back to work, keep those vulnerable safe and allow them time to get some fresh air without us putting them and each other in harm's way?

We can do sooo much but, how much more can we do with God's help? He is already trying to help and sometimes we are so caught up in panic and charts that we can't just stop and see what He is trying to do. He has the answers so why not ask, and then let Him lead as we get to work.

This crisis will pass but we will create another if we can't put God first. 

It is both ironic and a blessing that this is happening during Lent. Jesus was in the wilderness alone praying for 40 days. We are following him more closely now than most of us ever have.

For once we can stop, pray and surrender all our fears, anxiety, anger, denial or our unique combination of ways that we process this unique challenge. He wants to help you. Will you let Him? Do you have faith? God is good always and if we choose Him, we are choosing good.

That also means suffering. It is part of our redemption. But even in this aspect..surrendering to suffering instead of fighting it ironically means we suffer less.

So I will end with sharing some little miracles that happened this week.  On Monday I had a furuncle or boil removed. I had a lot of subconscious anxiety in the morning. I worked out because I knew I may not be able to for a bit after the procedure. 

This most routine of incisions involves a surgeon. That combined with this unique moment in time (with CV and the shelter in place) and I knew that all the anxieties and pre-occupations most have with this challenging time would make it so that challenge was mine alone to handle with God and precious few others for support. All of this I pushed aside as I prayed and focused where I needed to focus: on God and then on the medical professionals and how I could make this a holy moment. 

In the doctor's office the injections to numb the area around the mass burned and hurt. The cutting and removing the gunk came next. After the procedure, I saw the blood on the dressing and realized yeah its routine but still a procedure.

After it was done I was relieved and felt happy. I thought let me stop by a local church and maybe if the door is open I can pray. So after the 30-40 minute procedure I drove there. The door was open!

I walked inside and much to my amazement they were giving communion. All masses are suspended, and this was being videotaped apparently. I walked right in and received Jesus for the first time in a week. What an amazing blessing. What serendipity! I could not have dared to ask for this grace nor timed it more perfectly. Grace happened.

I cried a bit on the drive home as I looked to the heavens and thanked God. His love is steadfast and true. 

Some people reached out with calls, as did I, and the sense of connection and concern was more magnified.. even with a much smaller circle.

Later in my week amidst my humanity of being responsible and taking care of myself, I had many days of obstacles. I initially failed to turn to God. When I finally did..I was able to more calmly get past the obstacle. 

The blessing's kept coming. My agent sent me a voice over audition..not my specialty but a safe way to continue with that aspect of my call. 

And then the biggest blessing of all, because of YOU sheltering in place not only did I learn that hospitals in the peninsula and SF are NOT experiencing a surge, but by this action YOU allowed that same local church to gain permission from the SMC health oficial to allow communion today this Sunday. This church was allowed because they had ample space outside to keep 6 ft apart and because we are NOT in a dire situation.

Thank YOU for doing your part.

Rain was expected this morning. So as I often say..I don't tempt God so I came with rain gear. It never rained at the 9:30am distribution, a blessing to not stand in the rain.

There were volunteers making sure the 6ft rule was observed and giving hand sanitizer right before receiving communion in your hand. The priest was wearing gloves AND serving the communion with cute little tongs.

And how can I forget..confession. The  6ft spacing and the window was open in the room. I was able to confess. This was the first time I had ever felt so sorry for my sins. It was a confession from the heart. Many of my confessions have been from my head. That was what CV allowed me to do. 

Our collective suffering can be transformed by God. Jesus showed us the power of love through HIS suffering to create not only Peace but something Salvific. Because Love is Salvific, God can do the same with us now and when this finally passes. Will you join Him and let Him?

Lent will be over soon...holy week awaits.  The Resurrection will come! We all will pass one day and we all will be resurrected one day. The question is will you be ready and can you now... Rise from the Dead.