I know that the past few months, especially this past weekend has been hard on parishioners in New York. I’ve seen the anguish and the anger on the faces of people whose beloved churches are merging with other churches in the area. But I’ve also seen these same people go through things much worse, and I’ve learned that they are survivors.
They’re tough. They’re resilient. And they’ve taught me a lot about perseverance.
Maybe there is a bit of stubbornness in there, too, but sometimes that’s not a bad trait to have. I’m talking generally about Catholics, and in this case, specifically about my mother and my aunt, who I saw right after they found out that their parish was merging with another in Yonkers. Both women have seen their husbands die of illness; have lived on their own; and have gone through countless other hardships that I’m sure I don’t even know about. I know that this was a hard hit for them from the looks on their face as we met for lunch.
I didn’t say much during our lunch. What can you say in a situation like this—to people who basically have lost a home? That’s what it felt like to me, anyway. I wish I could’ve thought of some comforting words. Then a thought hit me because of the upcoming holidays…this is just like going to someone else’s home for the holidays…and after a while, after a few visits, it will feel just as comfortable as your own house.
That is going to be my hope. After all, the host is the same in Jesus Christ.