Although our lives have not completely returned to “normal,” how uplifting it was to have Holy Week and Triduum with in-person attendance at The Basilica. Being with one another, albeit masked and socially distanced, made the joy of Easter even more profound as our Lenten-like year of sacrifice for the common good feels closer to conclusion. As one guest happily proclaimed, “We are an Easter people!”—and indeed we are.
I vividly remember one year ago tearfully watching Easter Masses from home while sheltering in place. Archbishop Hebda, against the backdrop of unexpected spring snow, shared a Blessing of the City that was a soothing balm during such uncertain times. On this Second Sunday of Easter, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday, we conclude our 3:00pm Vespers service with a Blessing of the City from our front steps facing Minneapolis via Hennepin Avenue.
The Basilica’s vision statement “to seek the well-being of the city” is as relevant and important as ever. The world is watching as our city strives for truth, justice and healing. The needs of our neighbors, both near and far, have increased due to the global pandemic, civil unrest, racial injustice, and economic crises. The Basilica’s programs, ministries, and outreach efforts help create a more caring and just city and world.
Today’s first reading from Acts of the Apostles describes the early Church as a community of believers of one heart and mind. Our modern society is far from what God intended for us—a world free from need and filled with compassion. As I join our parish community in praying for our city and our world today, I pray most of all that I recommit myself to doing more to bring about the world God imagined.
In the closing words of The Basilica’s Litany for a Better World:
God of eternal wisdom, trusting in you we ask: Grant us kindness in all our thoughts, gentleness in all our words and generosity in all our deeds; Inspire us to fight the sin of indifference and speak out for those in need, and guide us in ways that will bring about the world you imagined for us.