Seeing Jesus in Ohio: Homily for March 18, 2018, 5th Sunday of Lent

The Deacon's Bench | 3/18/2018 | Staff
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As most of you know, last week marked the one-month anniversary of the massacre at the high school in Parkland, Florida—and thousands of teenagers around the country staged a walkout to commemorate that tragedy and honor those who had been killed.

Different schools marked the day in different ways.

Schools - Desks

Some schools placed 17 empty desks outside, to honor the 17 killed.

Others observed 17 minutes of silence.

Catholic - Schools - Country - Prayers - Benediction

Several Catholic schools around the country offered prayers, Benediction or Mass.

But one school in Ohio did something remarkable and, in its way, challenging.

Wednesday - Sandusky - Central - Catholic - High

On Wednesday, Sandusky Central Catholic High School gathered the students before the Blessed Sacrament for prayers for those who had died.

Father Jeff Walker, chaplain at the school, posted a picture and update on Twitter:

Name - Repose - Souls - Parkland - Candle

“We prayed by name for the repose of the souls who died in Parkland,” he wrote, “as we lit a candle for each of them.”

But then he added:

Obedient - Command - Enemies - Candle - Shooter

“Obedient to the command to pray for our enemies, we lit an 18th candle for the shooter and all those who seek to do harm.”

That is a tremendous testament—and a witness that I might call not only beautiful, but even, courageous. When I told people about that 18th candle, a few said they had mixed feelings about it and weren’t sure if it was appropriate.

Christianity - Times - World

But Christianity at times should make the world uncomfortable. It should unsettle us and make us look more deeply at who we are and what we do.

It is, in the best sense, countercultural—defying the norms of the culture and pricking the conscience.

Gospel - Ways

And it should reflect the Gospel in ways that can astonish us.

In today’s Gospel, several people approach the apostles just days before Christ’s Passion and say, “We would like to see Jesus.”

People - Week - Sandusky - Ohio

I think people saw him last week in Sandusky, Ohio.

They saw Jesus in prayers for the one who had...
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