We have just concluded an abridged version of the Passion of Matthew – yet how packed it is! So many images of the trial, sufferings and death of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus dies feeling alone and abandoned – abandoned even by his own Father. “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani .. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.”
This past Friday at 1 PM, I turned on my television to watch Pope Francis deliver an extraordinary “Urbi et Orbi” message and blessing. From the Latin meaning “to the City of Rome, and to the World”, this blessing, usually given only at Christmas and Easter, was being imparted to a world reeling at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a very moving and powerful scene: our 83-year old spiritual father, walking in the rain, all alone, limping slightly, across a completely empty St. Peter’s Square, in order to pray for the church and the world in these troubled times, and to call upon God for his blessing, protection and healing.