Peace and all Good! The contrast between darkness and light, a favorite theme of John’s Gospel, sets the stage for today’s gospel of the man born blind. Rather than rejoicing that the blind man has been given the gift of sight, he is accused of sin as if he was to blame for his blindness in the first place. Blindness in Jesus’ time was really considered a curse since a blind person was a “nobody”—unable to work and provide for a family and so he lived as a beggar on the streets. Jesus heals him and gives him “new life.”
The Lord offers us this new life—heals us from our spiritual blindness and the hope of a better life. As our Lenten journey has passed the halfway mark, we pray that the Lord may continue to open our eyes to what we need to see, to heal us of our blind spots and to acknowledge the sins we overlook.
As tragic as this pandemic of coronavirus really is, we are forced, perhaps, to take a good look at what is really important and central for our lives. Let us be thankful for the gift of the eyes of faith to declare: “I do believe, Lord.”
As was announced last weekend, for the safety and well being of all our parishioners and visitors, we have suspended all Masses for the time being. We will keep everyone informed as to when we will be able to resume our regular liturgical life. In addition, all other gatherings at the parish have been canceled until further notice. I urge all of us to follow all the protocol given by the Diocese and the Center for Disease Control for regular updates concerning our safety. Let us be calm, prudent and hopeful in this difficult time.
Finally, let us not forget that we are called to be men and women of prayer. Our chapel is open for prayer during office hours, and the Old Mission Church is open daily for private prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Let us especially pray for those who have the virus, all caregivers and all of us affected by this pandemic. May we never underestimate the power of prayer! Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us! St. Rocco, pray for us! St. Damien, pray for us! All holy men and women, pray for us!
Love, Fr. Vince
Addendeum: Since the writing of this letter, Parish Offices, the Parish Chapel, the Mission Church and the Mission have all been closed until further notice due to the Governor of California’s order to stay in place. Masses at 10 am and 12 noon on Sunday are streamed online. Please click on our live-stream button. Our Social Outreach in Loretto House is continuing to distribute food to those in need. The priests, brothers, and staffs of the Parish and Mission are keeping all of you and our world in prayer during these challenging times.