Lent 5. Reflection

Lent 5.   Reflection from Fr. Donal Neary, Parish Priest, Gardiner Street Parish, Dublin, Ireland.

We had just finished Mass in
Bethany near Jerusalem - a small group of us -
in the place where Jesus often visited Martha, Mary and Lazarus. After our
Mass the Franciscan priest offered us coffee - a moment of simple grace and
friendliness which highlighted something of Jesus' humanity for me. Their
hospitality was always there for him and their house was a house of
friends.  It was a sort of sanctuary for him when life was dangerous - just
a half hours' walk from
Jerusalem. A place to go when he was tired or
needed to put his feet up, or just talk about what was on his mind to his

At our best and worst

We all need our places and spaces of real communication, where we can be at
our best and our weakest. Jesus wept for the death of his friend and in
this weakness could also show his conviction that all was not over, and
that he himself is our life and resurrection. 

We need our spaces where we have time for each other, where we don't expect
the immediate and short reply of the text or the e-mail. Where tone and
feeling and mood, hopes and fears and sorrows can be shared, in a way
impossible in fast communication.

A welcome to people is a welcome to God. The depth of our human hospitality
is linked to the depth of our openness to God. The simple gesture of the
Franciscan coffee reminded me of that.

As we welcome God, we know that God never comes empty handed. On one of the
sisters; worst days - the death of their brother - he brought the promise
of unending life and hope. He brought the gift of deep friendship and care
- always his gift to us.

Lord you are resurrection and life; bring your hope and joy to us now and
in eternity.

Donal Neary S.J.


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