It’s Good Friday and I don’t remember what’s so good about it. I’m looking at the clouds settle in the highlands located way north of Manhattan and I’m wondering why it feels nice to have a cloudy gray sky today. I’m thinking about walls. There are walls all around St Patricks Old Cathedral. These are the oldest standing walls in Manhattan I’m told. And these walls serve to protect. When I arrive to the cathedral I reflect on the good people hustling and bustling aside the walls and the psychological walls people build around themselves. What are these walls protecting? We’re missionaries and we invite total strangers to come back to Christ. Each passerby is worthy of the same kindness as the next passerby. We’re not judging who we invite to the sacrament of reconciliation. Jesus’ kingdom is meant for all. Today is a good day. It’s a solemn day. God overcomes death by dying on a cross. 1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
God wants us. He made us and He loves us. Do I not invite the homeless man or the woman with a skin tight dress and ruby red lips? It’s with sincere kindness and as a servant for the Lord I approach these streets where I see walls. I’ve managed to speak through the earbuds wall and walk alongside the whoosh fast paced New Yorkers’ wall. Shine your light on the wall. You will get through I tell myself. The Holy Spirit will guide you.. I seek to make eye contact with everyone and smile and ask, “Are you Catholic?” After saying “No” one man wanted to know what would I say if he said yes. So I told him and he smiled. Today I focused on the now of being a light. Many Catholics made promises to me they would “go to Confession but I’m going somewhere.” I know they will find their way home in God’s time.
I have a shirt I wear running that says “How am I going to get home if I stop running”. Well how will I get to my eternal home if I stop praying?
The mission is a beautiful opportunity to focus on that part of Mass where the priests says “Go forth glorifying the Lord with your life”. If you’re thinking about joining the mission just do it. It’s about being sent forth. We need not worry about how many people go to confession. We need not worry about what we will say. So it’s just about 8pm the end time of our mission and I meet Denise. I hear people telling her to come back tomorrow. I know that if she doesn’t go now she may never. The walls that have been built between her and Jesus are ready to come crashing down. I search for a priest and then Father returns. Denise asks me what to say. I tell her twice and I pray she’ll make a beautiful confession. Denise enters the confessional. Kenn and I pray for her. Meanwhile Bob is with a lady in front of the church. Her walls are shaking. The cement is strong. Kenn hands her a confession guide. Bob’s speaking to her heart. The top of the wall is coming down. “Where’s Father?” Several minutes pass and he returns for the second time. Another woman approached me and asks if there is a priest for confession. Another Father is texted and returns to the church. This happened all in the Kronos – God’s time. Then I see Denise glowing with the beauty of her soul made in the image and likeness of God. She is thankful and joyful. Today, Good Friday, is good. God in his infinite love for us sent His only son to suffer and die for us so we can have the promise of eternal salvation. I’m leaving for the night and beyond the wall is the image of Jesus as Divine Mercy. Today begins the Novena for Divine Mercy. Oh blood and water that gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy, I trust in YOU!