Pulpit Reflections

By Deacon Denny Davis

St. Agnes Parish

For those who do not know me, I am Deacon Denny Davis from St. Agnes Parish here in Vermillion, and I have been asked to write for the pastor’s column today and I appreciate the opportunity.

When I was thinking and reflecting on the scripture readings around this Good Friday and Easter Sunday time, I received a phone call from a wonderful pastor here in town about a woman who had just moved to Sioux City and needed help with the move. This woman has nothing but her two children and a small amount of belongings, but no other support either here or in Sioux City. I told the pastor that I would call her and see what I could do.

When I called I discovered this woman who didn’t even have a way to get back to Vermillion to show me what she needed. She and her two small children were in a shelter where they slept on the floor and needed to get all her belongings to Sioux City so she could start a new life. If she lost her belongings, she would have to start all over again without the means to do so.

After talking to her, I realized that this was Jesus carrying her cross alone and falling on her journey. All I could do, like Simon of Cyrene, was to pick up that cross and walk with her and her children.

Brother and sisters, I think the stories we read during this holy season have to become that real for us. Otherwise it becomes just another church season with rituals and what I call “smells and bells” but never really gets into our lives today, in this place, right now.

Jesus never said “worship me.” He said “follow me,” and I think he meant it. In our Catholic tradition we have a new pope who I think has begun already to show us what we as Christians are called by the Gospel to do with the “least of these.” (Matt. 25)

We all strive to follow the same God in our Judeo-Christian tradition. Our pope is a universal spiritual leader, not because he is catholic, but because he also is seeking the truth through wisdom as we all are on this journey called life.

I am so grateful for the gift of that pastor’s call about this woman. It was not just a call to help one who is obviously poor, but a call for me to always strive to walk in “the way.” Isn’t that what all of our religion is for? May compassion bring us all together as “one.”

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