Easter

Soul Candy for Those who are Always Late to the Party

If you have forgotten that it’s still Easter, or even worse, celebrated one day and completely forgot about it, St. John Chrysostom has some encouraging words for you.   

I can completely relate to the struggle to celebrate for fifty days straight.  I’ve heard people describe Lent as a marathon, but for a melancholic like me, it’s almost more difficult remembering to celebrate for fifty days then do penance for forty.  But God calls us to rejoice, whether we wake up every morning hollering “Jesus is risen!” as we throw the covers off or if we slap our foreheads every time we see the white vestments on Sunday, swearing we will keep sacred this feast going into the week, knowing we will most likely forget by the time we head to the doughnut and coffee hand-out station.  

St. John Chrysostom has some consoling words for us late-comers.  In the Church’s Eastern Rite, they read one of his most famous catechetical sermons every Easter.  Meditating on the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matt 20:1-16), it is supposed to be a reminder that whether we’ve held to our Lenten fasts since Ash Wednesday or picked up a random makeshift penance on the back half of the season- even if we just started fasting on Good Friday, we have a reason to celebrate receiving the fullness of God’s mercy in His resurrection.  We’re well into the Easter season, with only a week or so left, which is another perfect time to remind us of God’s perfect mercy despite our imperfect timing:

“If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived thereof. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.” 

There’s enough Easter joy to go around (even five weeks in):

“And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts. And he both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.”

And for the gloomy melancholics like myself, God has created us for the joy of Easter, not for the ridiculously gloomy pit of despair that we inexplicably seem to search out.

“Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen. 

“O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.”

We’re all late to the party, all impoverished in some way, but the Easter season (all FIFTY days) is an extended season of meditation on that very fact as well as the great riches of grace we’ve been given.

Bonus point for those of you who listen to this while meditating on this homily.

Hellbender

“He descended into hell.”

What a cryptic phrase from the Apostles Creed!  What do we mean when we say these words at Mass every Sunday, or when we begin the Rosary? Did Jesus really go to hell?  Or, was it Sheol?  Or Hades?  Or the place of the just who could not enter heaven until Our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross in atonement for our sins? Is there still the possibility of eternal damnation, or is “hell” merely an antiquated concept that the Church has outgrown because of Vatican II?  For answers let us consider The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 631 to 635.

The phrase, “He descended into hell,” must be considered in tandem with what immediately follows: “On the third day He rose again.”  As the Catechism states, “The Apostle’s Creed confesses in the same article Christ’s descent into hell and his Resurrection from the dead on the third day, because in his Passover it was precisely out of the depths of death that he made life spring forth.” [CCC631] Here we see the “both/and” dichotomy of the Catholic faith: Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  An easy trap to fall into is to focus only on one over the other.  One only has to see latest news stories coming out of Egypt or Syria to see that man is capable of great evil, but is his nature totally depraved?  Good Friday without Easter Sunday? Or the opposite end of the spectrum which some have termed “Christianity Lite” for those whose comfortable lives give them the promise of heaven without the reality of hell, or forgiveness without repentance? The truth lies between the two extremes.  All of humanity was forever changed because “on the third day He rose again,” but there is no Resurrection without a Crucifixion, and our willful embrace or rejection of this metaphysical reality effects how we live (or should be living).

A Catholic’s affirmation that Jesus was “raised from the dead presupposes that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his Resurrection.” [CCC632] That is, “Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead.”  But, by descending to the dead, did Jesus destroy the hell of eternal damnation? Oh, that the demands of faith could be that easy!  No, Jesus descended to the dead “to free the just who had gone before him.” [CCC633].  “He descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.” [CCC632].  So where is the “there?”

We shouldn’t think of hell as a place, but as a state of the soul in relation to God.  Biblical terms of “Sheol” and “Hades” are synonymous – the former is in Hebrew, and the latter in Greek.  Both are the “abode of the dead,” but this description still evokes the idea of a place.  Matters of the soul are difficult to envision, so we use imagery to help grasp metaphysical realities.  The souls in the “abode of the dead” are “deprived of the vision of God,” and this is true for the evil or righteous alike.  Jesus went for the holy souls who awaited their Savior “in Abraham’s bosom,” from the parable of the poor man Lazarus [Luke 16:19-31].  Remember, in this parable, reference is made to the resurrection of the dead.  As the parable teaches: belief must begin with Moses and the Prophets, because “if they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” [Luke 16:31]. 

Believers and unbelievers alike can agree that Jesus was killed.  But those who believe that Jesus is God must then logically conclude that God died on a Friday afternoon two thousand years ago. But, no! God cannot die!  One might then conclude incorrectly that “Jesus cannot be God because God cannot die.” Or another false belief will arise: that Jesus never really died, but was taken down from the cross before it was too late.  

How do we solve this riddle that Jesus Christ is God, and that “Jesus was crucified, died and was buried?” Again, from the Catechism: “In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead” to “open heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him.” [CCC635]  

Our discussion has now brought us into the metaphysical realm where images to not work.  What is the soul? What makes a person divine?  These questions are beyond the scope of this article.  Sufficient for now must be the simple faith and belief that Jesus Christ is both God and man.  He is a divine person who has a human soul.  The two are united and inseparable, and because God does not die, for He is Life Itself, after the Crucifixion, God descended into hell to release all who were waiting for the messianic promises of the Old Testament to be fulfilled.  Not even death could contain Him, so we can say with St. Paul, “O death, where is thy victory?  O death, where is thy sting?” [1 Corinthians 15:55].

The Resurrection itself is too important an event in history to celebrate for one day only, which is why the Church celebrates the Octave of Easter, culminating with Divine Mercy Sunday.    And, although Lent is forty days, Easter is fifty, culminating with Pentecost!

As we celebrate the most central mysteries of our faith during this holiest of liturgical seasons, let us all raise a glass to and be grateful for the unfathomable mercy of Jesus.  And, for those in the Washington, DC area, please join us Sundays during the Easter Season to celebrate at the most aptly named place for such an occasion: The Hellbender Brewing Company.

 

Disciples and Emojis

Think of the movie, The Sandlot. It is a classic tale of kid lore and childhood memories—revolving mostly around baseball. When the main character, Scotty, makes neighborhood friends the first summer he moves into a new neighborhood, he runs to the sandlot to play baseball (even though he has no idea what he’s doing). When the motley baseball team finds that the ‘Beast’ has Scotty’s dad’s baseball, autographed by Babe Ruth, Benny takes off running through town as a decoy to allow his friends to capture the all-important ball from the Beast’s backyard. In almost any good kid movie, at some point, the plot will depend on one character taking off running because the message they have to deliver deserves a quick pace.

Adults seem to lose this feeling of urgency with age, don’t you think? There’s a laughable, old Geico commercial that illustrates how this looks. When was the last time an adult ran to tell you anything? More than likely, much of the work of conveying emotion is done by emojis—they are quick, efficient and express most of our commonly-experienced emotions. Best of all, we don’t even have to break a sweat.

This is the antithesis of the story from Matthew’s Gospel today. This Easter Monday, we read:

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples…


Mary Magdalene and the other Mary have just had their worlds rocked at the discovery of the empty tomb and they cannot move fast enough to deliver the message of hope they have received. Who’s to say that in a different time they might have chosen a different means of communication, but some news is best shared, personally—like the fulfillment of our Salvation story in Christ’s rising from the dead.

Certainly we would be quick to find any number of distinguishing characteristics between our own lives and those of the women who find Jesus’ tomb empty. Yet, as an Easter people, the ways in which we re-engage the world after celebrating the Triduum has the capacity to convey the same truth that Mary Magdalene and Mary’s delirious rushing, produced at the time of Christ.

Today might be your first day back at work after the Easter holiday. Perhaps you work in the private sector that gives Easter Monday as a holiday. Either way, the Marys pose an important question to us today:

How am I choosing to share the news of the Resurrection?

Sandlot-style or Geico-style?

 

 

Praying the Lord's Prayer in Eastertide

Besides the smell of the Easter lilies and the beauty of the paschal candle, one of the things I love most about Eastertide is mediating on the mystery of holy baptism and the new life it gives us. Over the course of Lent, we journeyed with the catechumens who prepared for new life in that font of holy mother the Church. But we also underwent our own process of penance and renewal so that with them, we could renew our own baptismal promises of renouncing Satan and all his works and empty show and professing our belief in Christ and the Holy Catholic Church. At the heart of our baptism is our divine adoption as children of God: we are reborn as sons and daughters in Christ Jesus because we have been grafted onto His Mystical Body and thus share in His Sonship. Thus, just as when Christ was baptized in the Jordan River and the Heavenly Father declared, “You are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”, because we are members of Christ’s Body and sons in the Son, the Father says this upon all of us. And if baptism is at the heart of the Easter celebration of new life, then divine adoption is at the core of baptism. And if all of that is true, then the Lord’s Prayer is worthy of a central place in our Easter prayer.

Tertullian said that the Lord’s Prayer is a summary of the whole gospel. And St. Augustine said that there is no genuine Christian petition that isn’t found in the Oratio Dominica. St. Thomas Aquinas states that “the Lord’s Prayer is the most perfect of prayers. In it we ask, not only for all things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.” Thus the Catechism is able to assert that the rightness of our life in Christ hinges directly upon the rightness of our prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer has always been tied to holy baptism. Not only is it prayed at all baptismal services, but the catechumen solemnly receives it as a stage of preparation for the rite itself, because this handing on (tradition) “signifies new birth into divine life.” (CCC 2769) Many church fathers wrote sermons on the Lord’s Prayer to catechumens and neophytes.

How powerful those words the priest uses to invite us to filial trust before reciting the prayer in the Eucharistic liturgy: “At the Savior’s command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say.” Isn’t that interesting? “We dare to say.” Why would the Roman liturgy speak life this? Because it is only by new life in Christ that we can speak with such boldness and confidence. Before baptism, God was our Creator and by analogy a father to us. But now through Christ taking us to Himself, we are adopted as sons and daughters of the Father. This is not by analogy or symbolic: we truly become children of God. This is the new life we celebrate for 50 days with paschal joy in the Church’s liturgy. If we ponder this constantly in our own prayer during this holy season of Easter, then we will live the joy the Church keeps inviting us into. Living this identity out in real life is what makes saints.

The Foolish Stumbling Block of the Easter Economy

But we preach Christ crucified, indeed unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness. (1Corinthians 1:23)

Easter is the High Feast of the Foolishness of God, the Glorious Octave of His almighty skandalon, over which the great and smart and strong of this world will endlessly and perpetually fall. Amen, Alleluia!

Anyone who would deign to preach Christ without the offense of the Cross, who would stoop to preaching Our Lord unrisen, though he imagines himself reasonable and calculating, is indeed a stooge who knows not what he does. As St. Paul further says, sans the utter folly of the Cross and the inescapable snare of the empty tomb, our faith “is in vain, for you are yet in your sins, and “we are of all men most miserable.” Once more, Amen, Alleluia!

Though we have tried our best to put the Word of God “in its place,” to train Him to stay in the boundaries of our well-kempt lawns, Easter cannot be confined. It bursts from our polite grasps just as Life burst from the Grave that wondrous night, and evades being truncated into sound bites fit for easy and pleasant consumption. There is no ½ or ¾ a Cross, no pinch-or-so of Resurrection. One must confirm them in their wholeness, or deny them in their totality. All lip service paid to the bald starkness and holy madness of that night quickly melts away under the slightest scrutiny: do you believe IT to be true? The stone laid aside, the angels-in-white, the frantic witness of the women with their un-poured-perfumes, they ask and demand an answer: do you praise the Risen One? 

As witness to this scandal and foolishness, this body and soul of Easter, God has gifted the world with two astounding authors: Chaucer and Cervantes. When it comes to the stumbling-block nature of this latter age of ours, no one surpasses Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (Northman that I am, I give the nod to him over Dante, but quarrel with no man who would choose the Florentine). John Senior famously (though as far as I can tell, not in writing) made his students read first The Little Flowers of St. Francis so they could see an image of a Saint, and then required a walk with Chaucer's pilgrims to understand those they set by in the pews.

So the great scandal of the Church is precisely that, next to the chivalrous Knight and the pious Parson, there is the drunk Miller and the mischievous Monk—with the Wife of Bath perhaps being more interesting than them all! A student well read in Chaucer would not even let the corruption of certain Clergy dissuade them from the Faith: the Pardoner, among others, is warning enough! Volumes could be written regarding this good master of the skandlon that is our Faith, and but volumes too defending the dogged belief that this menagerie of fallen souls belong on the same pilgrimage toward God together.

But on this Feast of the Comedy truly Divine, I would like to focus on the Foolishness of God, and what is to my mind the most sublime prophet of this facet of the Resurrection: Don Quixote. Indeed, the last five paragraphs of Simon Leys’s seminal essay “The Imitation of Our Lord Don Quixote” form perhaps the most succinct explanation of what I hold most dear about our Faith. To quote the last two paragraphs:
 

In his quest for immortal fame, Don Quixote suffered repeated defeats. Because he obstinately refused to adjust “the hugeness of his desire” to “the smallness of reality,” he was doomed to perpetual failure. Only a culture based upon “a religion of losers” could produce such a hero.
What we should remember, however, is this (if I may thus paraphrase Bernard Shaw): The successful man adapts himself to the world. The loser persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the loser.     My friends, what more does this season call us to, than Knighthood in the triumphant and regal Kingdom of Losers that Christ has won over all the “winners” of the world?

Which brings me to the title of this essay. The word “economy” comes from two Greek words, oikos meaning “household,”and nomos meaning “law.” When I speak of the Easter Economy, I have in mind first not some ephemeral advice about this or that market, but everlasting rules that Christ has set for this new household of His, the realm of the “Kingdom of Losers” He has won through conquering death. How is it that we sinners, stumbling blocks though we are, are to live in this new realm of folly won by the Slaughtered Lamb of God?

Oh, we can only but begin to speak to the lavish manner in which God pours out His blessing on us, His unworthy children! However, in being embarrassed by the embarrassing largesse of God, it is we who prove to be miserly in our attitude toward the Ancient of Days. How ironic that it should be so, in a political season where people admire men supposedly too rich to be bought off, or with political ideals too lofty to be tarnished by realism, that it is God’s very children who slink away scandalized by the scandal of God’s mercy. We should instead loudly praise the Divine Apatheia which is immune to bribes, speaks endlessly of the timelessness in which God holds all things and thus proves Him incapable of overestimating the heights His compassion can climb!

We speak of mercy as if “nice” people could lend at the absurd rate God does, but the truth is that God lends us mercy like a 3am gambler, who lets it ride on red through the terror of Good Friday and the emptiness of Holy Saturday. We imagine God Himself as nice as well, but He is frankly irresponsible towards us, if it were not for the infinite stores of mercy from which He draws. Amen, and alleluia that it be so!

So in this 50 day Feast, let us be cursed if we are the ones found wanting in lavish praise, if we be the ones that fall short of abundant joy, if we would be the scolds of God and lecture Him about His outlandish economics! As the Easter Sequence Victimae Paschali proclaims, “death and life have contended in that combat stupendous,” and my friends, the loser of this battle? He won. Will you be the one who diminishes the splendor of His stupendous victory? Will you be the one who, red-cheeks blushing, looks away at the refulgent splendor of the conquering slaughtered Lamb? Or will you join the jubilant throngs of scandalous fools, bathed in the immeasurable and undeserved spoils of Our Resurrected King, and sing the anthem of the Kingdom of Losers, “Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining; have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!”?

Let His ransomed fools say, Amen! Alleluia!      

 

 

 

In the Place of Simon the Cyrenian

Welcome to the first week of Easter.

Last week we experienced the most profound story in human history. We sat with Jesus and the apostles at the last supper. We watched Jesus walk His passion. We wept with the wailing women and we stood at the foot of the cross with Mary and the beloved John as we heard Christ say, “It is finished” and bow His head and give up His spirit (John 19:30).

We mourned the death of Jesus as He was laid in the tomb, and we then rejoiced with Mary Magdalene and ran to the empty tomb with Peter and John. Rejoice, our Lord is risen! Our debt has been paid, alleluia!

Now what?

I am always struck by the profound beauty of the Church’s liturgies during Holy Week. As we remember the Paschal mystery of our Lord my heart is stirred and I am moved at my core. When the Son rises on Easter Sunday I rejoice and am glad. But then I wonder, what is next, where do I go from here?

On Good Friday as I watched the Passion of the Christ, the character of Simon the Cyrene, for the first time struck me in his importance. Up until then I had always passed Simon off as a supporting character, an unfortunate bystander pressed into service, but nothing more. Yet as I reflected on the Passion this year I realized that I am Simon. We are Simon.

Every time we pray the Stations of the Cross, we are Simon. We are walking the Passion with our Lord. Simon experienced the Passion of our Lord in the most intimate way, in immediate proximity to Jesus. He was with Jesus during his last hours. He looked into the bruised and bloody face of Jesus only inches away from his own. When we celebrate the liturgies of Holy Week we too are walking with Christ intimately, and this walk transforms us.

I wonder what happened to Simon after he finished helping carry the cross. Atop Calvary, Christ and the Cross had reached their destination, Simon’s service was no longer needed. Did he run away, or did he stay and watch? We do not have any explicit biblical description of what happened to Simon after helping carry the cross, but I assure you, that experience transformed Simon. Imagine what he must have been thinking as he was pressed to carry the cross. He must have wondered who this condemned man was. Why did he have a crown of thorns? Why was was his body so scourged before he was to be crucified? Why are some weeping and others are jeering? Had Simon heard of Jesus through stories before he helped carry the cross? He must have been confused and pondered what was happening. What must have transpired when he looked into the eyes of the Son of God so closely?

How could Simon not be transformed by carrying the cross, weighed down by our sins, alongside our savior Jesus? How can you experience so closely the suffering of our Lord and not be changed? That experience would have stuck with Simon for a very long time. While we do not know exactly what happened to Simon after his experience, we can reflect on ourselves after we experience this same story. After we have witnessed the Passion of our Lord each Holy Week, what do we do next, how are we transformed? When we are faced with the story of the Passion we cannot leave the same, we are changed. The question we must ask ourselves is, will I run or will I stay?

Once we experience Jesus our lives are changed. We cannot help that fact. Yes we can turn away and return to our old life, but that experience will always be calling to us. We cannot shake the nagging story of Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation.

Hope is how we are transformed by Christ. As you reflect upon your own life, do not despair, but hope! If you find yourself like Peter, having denied Jesus, do not despair, Jesus loves you and offers you forgiveness just as he did to Peter. Or perhaps you find yourself more like John the Apostle at the foot of the cross, rejoice in your closeness to the Lord and hope in his resurrection! Perhaps you are Simon the Cyrenian, you have experienced the Passion, you are changed, but you do not understand what it all means. Embrace the uncertainty, trust in the Lord and let your life be transformed.

In the Gospel of Mark, we are given the name of Simon the Cyrene as well as his two sons, Alexander and Rufus. This begs the question, how would Mark know the names of Simon and his family? This is strong evidence that after the crucifixion Simon the Cyrene and his family became followers of Christ and were known by the apostles and other members of the early Church, so much so that it would be important enough for Mark to use their names in his account of the Gospel that was written circa 70 AD.

So, now what? Just as we do not have a written account of Simon the Cyrenian’s life after his experience with Jesus, your story is not yet written either. Today we are living in the glory of the resurrection. You have witnessed the Passion of the Lord and you know the end, Jesus is risen! Jesus suffered the Passion for you. In his resurrection we are freed from sin and death. Let your life be transformed, and as we walk away from Calvary, as Simon the Cyrenian did, let us continue to walk with the Lord. Where where you walk?

The Art of Accompaniment

If there is a buzz word to the pontificate of Pope Francis, in my mind there is no doubt that that words would be “accompaniment.” This can be verified both through his writings and the frequency of the use of the word itself and also in the personal witness of the Pope that has caught the attention of the whole world. Who can forget him washing the feet of the youth in the Juvenile Detention Center on Holy Thursday of 2013? Or him embracing the leper and kissing his wounds? Or the little girl in the Philippines who asked him why God allowed her to suffer, and how Francis simply drew the little girl to himself in an embrace and not only held her but cried with her.

This principle of accompaniment is expounded in The Joy of the Gospel, the first apostolic exhortation issued by the Bishop of Rome, which he stated express his pastoral program for the governance of the Universal Church under his pontificate. And I believe that the fruitfulness of the New Evangelization, the renewal of Western Society in response to Postmodernity, largely rests on learning the art of accompaniment.

In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis writes:

In a culture paradoxically suffering from anonymity and at the same time obsessed with the details of other people’s lives, shamelessly given over to morbid curiosity, the Church must look more closely and sympathetically at others whenever necessary. In our world, ordained ministers and other pastoral workers can make present the fragrance of Christ’s closeness and his personal gaze. The Church will have to initiate everyone – priests, religious and laity – into this “art of accompaniment” which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other (cf. Ex 3:5). The pace of this accompaniment must be steady and reassuring, reflecting our closeness and our compassionate gaze which also heals, liberates and encourages growth in the Christian life.

He goes on to say that:

We need to practice the art of listening, which is more than simply hearing. Listening, in communication, is an openness of heart which makes possible that closeness without which genuine spiritual encounter cannot occur. Listening helps us to find the right gesture and word which shows that we are more than simply bystanders.

If we can learn to walk with people, meeting them where they are at and sharing in their joys and sorrows and steadily witnessing to the power of Jesus Christ in our own lives, then we can make disciples. As we get close to the Paschal Triduum, we should prepare ourselves to receive the New Commandment of Love that Jesus’ gave us on Holy Thursday at the Last Supper. The art of accompanying others is grounded in this novo mandatum.

How can we cultivate this art of accompaniment in our Catholic Beer Club gatherings? Perhaps there is someone at the gathering just waiting for us to walk with them, if only we learn to open our eyes and see.