- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

April 4, 2020

Fr. Justin Sheehan, OCSO

5th Saturday of Lent

The prophet Ezekiel said it in the first reading: Thus says the Lord God: I will take the
children of Israel from among the nations to which they have come, and gather them
from all sides. The prophet Jeremiah said it in the responsorial psalm: He who
scattered Israel will gather him. Even the high priest Caiaphas spoke as a prophet in
the Gospel reading: he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not
only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.

The place where all the dispersed children of God would be gathered into one would
be around the Cross of Jesus. The only thing that gathers all these people together is
their common relation to a divine Redeemer. That bond is deeper than all national
bonds, than all ethnic or family bonds, than all ties of friendship, than all political
parties. The bond that links us with Christ goes deeper than any other bond.

All the other bonds are transitory and they are imperfect. They still leave us isolated
at the core of our being. But if we are united to Christ, we are united to all who are
also in him, even those who are self-isolated and staying at home because of the
pandemic. There is only one Life that animates all the members of this Body, one
precious Blood that circulates through all the veins, and that is the Body and Blood of

The death that Christ died brings all people into the family of God, for he will gather
into one the dispersed children of God. As we will pray in the Prayer after
Communion: “O Lord, as you feed us with the nourishment which comes from the
most holy Body and Blood of your Son, so you may make us sharers of his divine
nature”- in other words, children of God.

So as we relive the great events of this unique Holy Week, let us turn our hearts and
minds to that dear Christ who died for each one of us, wherever we may be, and put
our confidence in his great sacrifice. We will find ourselves passing over from
isolation to communion, from death into life, from the death of selfishness and
division, to the eternal life of the children of God, where there is no pain or grief, no
sadness or sorrow, but everlasting life in him.