Dearest People of God,
The season of Lent is fully underway and moving us all towards the events of Passiontide (Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum). There have been many things happening, both here in Western New York, and around the world. The nightly news or the daily paper (or any media source we turn to for information) can often bring distressing awareness of frightening events. I myself have been very worried about many things…
Around the world, there are many stories to watch.
First, the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues with no end in sight. The Ukrainian people, along with Western powers, are preparing for a long war, just as Russia is mobilizing for extended hostilities. Many global analysts and researchers in international politics are growing very concerned…even the words “World War III” have been mentioned cautiously and with dreaded foreboding.
Second, the persecution of Christians continues in many countries, such as in Nigeria and other African states. As the home of Fr. Peter, he, and many other Nigerians, await the recent election results which could usher in a peaceful status quo, or bring about the specter of civil war. We ought to especially pray for Nigeria and the Christian population there, as well as for Fr. Peter and his family, and the families of other Nigerian priests and lay people who live here in the Buffalo area.
At home in the United States, there is plenty of news to cause disquiet.
While inflation, gas prices, food prices and other costs continue to rise, many people are very rightfully concerned about their finances.
A very serious train derailment in Ohio has put an entire community at risk of troubling health concerns, now and in the future. Violence and murder are a stark reality in Orlando, Florida, with the deaths of three people (one of them a 9-year-old child), and two seriously injured adults.
Even here in Buffalo, there has been recent media coverage about the abuse crisis, the diocesan response, priests who have been accused, the attorney general’s lawsuit, and other insinuations. Unfortunately for us in Buffalo, and in my not so humble opinion, the local media is anything but objective in their reporting. The media (and individual journalists) have carefully selected information from the attorney general’s office and the diocese, in order to build a preset narrative. Is there other relevant information from diocesan files and the files of the attorney general’s office that have been deliberately left out? Very likely. Is that exactly how these journalists want it? Most definitely.
Please understand dear friends, I am not writing about these things to make anyone more depressed. It is an honest recognition that this world of ours is fallen. This world of ours is a world of sin, both intentional and accidental. BUT… remember the words of Our Lord in John’s Gospel… “But take courage; I have overcome the world!” Let us resolve together to truly take courage, especially in the words and message of Divine Mercy.
Eternal Father, I offer You the body and blood, soul and divinity, of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. In atonement for our sins, and those of the whole world…For the sake of His sorrowful Passion…have MERCY on us and on the whole world!
~ Fr. Martin Gallagher