April 08th, 2020
Aloha and Hello Brothers and Sisters,
We are almost to the end of this Lenten Season. Holy Week is before us and we are physically distance from one another, because of the virus but I do believe we are all united in Spirit. For that, I have to say Thank You very much for continuing the journey of faith that we are on now besides the many challenges and hardships ahead of us. Please keep the faith, be healthy and be safe from the COVID-19. Beyond the distancing of who we are from one another for a short period of time, we will be together with joy and gratitude when the black cloud of COVID-19 goes away. This is really one meaning of Lent … ‘self-sacrifice’. Sacrificing of ‘our been together’ for safety reasons for a short time, enable us to be together tomorrow with gratitude and with a healthy self.
God gave us so many opportunities. Moving towards the end of this Lenten Season and experiencing what is happening in the world nowadays, enables us to see another opportunity to have back to ourselves the gift of Gods Holiness that was with us, we lost it, because of sin. We were given three tools or three elements that we must work on so that this gift (Holiness) of God can be within us again. And this is one of the reasons that I see why things happen in this world. Way to Holiness is not easy. The way of the Cross leading to triumphant was with pain and sufferings. Ways to gain back to our self the holiness of God in this time of great hopelessness and fear - is through Fasting, Self-Sacrifice and Prayer.
For the last two weeks, I had plenty time to spend on prayers not only for my own relationship with God but for Gods protection to all members of our Community. Sacrificing our desire to be physically with our brothers and sisters in our community services or worshipping together enable to how Gods way are not ours most of the time. I see it as a great opportunity of deepening my relationship with the God of Hope, with Jesus the Healer and with Holy Spirit who always care, protect and guide to the right path.
What is happening in the world nowadays remind me of how God reveals to human beings in this world. We hardly accept the way how he reveals to us. Like the Jesus who is the ‘Emanuel’ of God to man, unaccepted by many even now. Even before Christ, the chosen family of God. He revealed to them in wind, thunder, storm, water and many others especially natural disasters which we hardly accept by many. To Our Lady of Sorrow too. The way She revealed Herself to the world was always through simple things or in a very low-profile or humble way. Mostly to Children which sometimes we say, ‘oh boy, who believe in what that kid is saying’. Stories of Lourdes and Fatima can be very much a clear picture of Our Mother and the kids. So, to gain heaven or to have back to our self the Holiness of God is through pain and sufferings – yes, it’s hard but beyond pain and sufferings victory and newness of life will be granted.
Let us enter with Christ entered triumphantly to Jerusalem to accept sorrow so that ne life will be granted when we celebrated with joy the Risen Christ. Let us be open and prepare to receive back to our beings the new life or the Holiness of God. Beyond the Cross there is Resurrection. See you next week again Stay Healthy and be safe.
Fr. Niko Atonio
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Fr. Falaniko Atonio is the pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows.