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Pastor's Column

An Easter Miracle

Pastor’s Column

Easter Sunday, 2024

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels

Easter is a reminder that the world is not always what it appears to be. Jesus, having promised to be with us until the end of time, truly is here, but he wants to be discovered by faith. Sometimes, too, he helps us to realize he has been with us all along!

One day in my previous parish I was called out to pray with a dying man around Eastertime. The place I came to was a very run down, forbidding-looking dilapidated mobile home and as I approached I could hear shouting and loud cursing going on inside this house. I (reluctantly!) knocked on the door, almost certain that I had the wrong address. But I did knock, and the woman who had called me let me in. On the bed was a very angry looking man who upon seeing a priest, me, began saying all kinds of profanity and swear words and cussing and this kind of thing. No, he didn’t believe in the Lord and would I please leave?

Naturally, I was somewhat reluctant to come in. But the wife pleaded with me to stay. She was worried about her husband and where he was going to go after he died (an imminent event) – and with the kind of attitude that he was exhibiting – I wondered myself what was going to happen to him after death—it didn’t look very promising. I also was somewhat unsure of just what I could do since it didn't appear that either God or I were particularly welcome. But the Lord was present and he had a plan.

This man finally relented saying, "Well you might as well pray so I can get rid of you" (and I was anxious to leave also). And yet, this invitation from this angry man was acceptable to God, if you can believe it. So we all formed a circle and prayed, and when we opened our eyes there was a surprise waiting for us. Inside the circle of prayer there looking up at us was a big dog and a cat. It was as if they had joined in the prayer.

And then the most amazing thing happened. Now this was no miracle to me, but that’s not how this man saw it! He saw these two animals sitting there in the middle of our prayer circle together looking at us and said, "In all the years that I've been here these two animals have done nothing but fight and never come near each other. I've never seen them together like this, let alone at peace."  And he and his wife realized then that only the Lord’s presence could have made this possible, and that he truly had been present in this circle of prayer.  This man died believing the Lord had been present there, went to confession, received his sacraments and died reconciled to God.

Easter is not a fairy tale. Jesus really is alive and present here in our midst, just as he said he would be, but hidden. So many people go through life without the slightest realization that they are truly loved by God. Jesus is truly raised from the dead! Remember what he said: “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in your midst (Matthew 18:20).”   Don’t let your dog or cat realize it before you do!  Happy Easter……🐇 🐇 ✟ 🐥🐇

Father Gary ~


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