A few weeks ago, Peggy Noonan wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal about our new Pope. “Go and Repair My House,” it was titled, in reference to a mystical experience that occurred to St. Francis of Assisi. She points out the intentions of Pope Francis to move in the same direction, working to repair a Church which has been heavily damaged by scandals arising from “arrogance, conceit, and clubbiness.” At end, she makes a wonderful and interesting observation: that, despite all strains and scandals suffered by the Church, “they (people) still came
running. A pope was being picked. The smoke came out and the crowd was there in St. Peter’s Square. They stood in the darkness, cold and damp, and they waited and cheered and the square filled up. As the cameras panned the crowd, there was joy on their faces, and the joy felt like renewal.”
Her explanation? Underneath it all, under the disappointment and disillusionment with oh-so-human institutions, there is still something within the heart that, simply, “wants God!”
Amen, Peggy! ……and the Masses of Easter (and Christmas, as well) stand in testimony to that. Even people who may not slide into a pew at any other time during the year, often make their way here on these festive holidays. I always marvel at the increase. All the welcome additions add an excitement to the liturgy, serving as a living reminder that something important is being celebrated today.
The celebrations are many: the Easter triumph of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead; the love of a family that made it important for everyone to make the extra effort and come to church together today; the thanksgiving to God for new things given; or maybe just the Spirit stirring a desire to be in a beautiful place with beautiful music on a Spring morning. Underneath any of these, there is, I believe, the longing to connect spiritually with one anther and with the Divine.
“We want God,”……..
……….and Easter is the promise that nothing will prevent us from fulfilling that desire. It is also the encouragement that, with Christ’s help, we can build a world in which God is easier to see, a Kingdom where God is evident to all.
So this weekend, as our church swells in attendance, look for a joyful sign of the Divine Presence in the faces around us. May all of our visitors be greatly blessed for what they teach us about the Living God, alive in the hearts of all…..