SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Old Mission Santa Barbara's Father Larry is reaching out to the Santa Barbara community in hopes of sending encouragement to those "caught under this web of COVID-19."
Here is an excerpt from his latest message ahead of Palm Sunday:
My dearest sisters and brothers in Christ,
Today, in this very special Palm Sunday, as we begin our Holy Week celebration, and in the face of this pandemic of the Coronavirus, we stand strong, united, and hopeful, even though we are not able to gather together in community and communion as the Body of Christ.
We, as the Body of Christ, wait in our own contemplative monastic cells in this “solitude of separation.’ celebrating the solemnity of these sacred days. This is a stark contrast to our accustomed way of faithfully journeying in these sacred days. This bring us into the harsh realization of the image that we have in our liturgical remembrance of Passion Sunday, where we see the emergence of Christ coming into the Holy City of Jerusalem triumphantly riding atop a colt, and hearing the cries of the huge gathered crowd together proclaiming: “Hosanna to the King!” And here we are seeing ourselves in this safety isolation, not able to be gathered together as the People of God. What a stark contrast this represent and gives to us. But this is what it is, and this is how it is for us this year, and this is how, we are asked and given to celebrate this Holy Week. Let this not be a demise for us, but rather a promise that God is with us, and that we are untied and together with Christ. In our normal liturgical procession on this day, we hear the Gospel story at the beginning of the liturgy, that Jesus is triumphantly entering into the City of David, Jerusalem, with the crowds laying out a royal carpet of palm branches, crying out, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” But, soon in our Gospel reading for this day, we hear in the Passion narrative that the people are turning from these original chants and are now shouting, “Crucify Him!”
For the entire letter from Father Larry, click here.