Focused on Tomorrow

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Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

During these last four weeks, several people I know have noted, “This Lent is like one long Holy Saturday.”

In some ways, yes. It’s like we’re in suspended time. My teenager is having trouble keeping track of what day it is. I am, too. There’s not much to distinguish one day from another.

As of today, it’s been exactly four weeks since I’ve received the Eucharist. We attend the livestreamed Mass at our parish and are grateful to have that opportunity, but for me it only serves to increase my hunger for the sacraments.

Normally on Holy Saturday, we’re all focused on tomorrow. On any other Holy Saturday, I’d be putting together Easter treats for my kids (and for the one who lives two time zones away, I’d already have mailed something). I’d be ironing dress shirts and making sure I had every last ingredient I needed for a festive dinner with a special dessert (and maybe even appetizers if I was feeling extra ambitious). I’d be reviewing three or four responsorial psalms in advance of the Easter Vigil and double-checking my music binder to make sure everything for tonight and tomorrow was inside and in the right place.

This year, if I’m able to get potatoes, I’m thinking our festive Easter dinner (and all-day Easter project after online Mass) will be homemade pierogi.

This year, the tomorrow we’re focused on is the day we will be released from our own socially isolated “tombs” — the day we can once again leave our homes, visit with family and friends, be present at Mass.

For Jesus, that day was Easter. For us, it will be later.

But for today, let’s focus on Jesus’ tomorrow. Let’s focus on the Resurrection and the hope it signifies.


Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz

In Honor of the Feast

Today is the Feast of St. Francis. I didn’t get to Mass this morning, because I was substitute-teaching at Little Brother’s school.

But I told them that I could only do half a day today, because this afternoon, the Secular Franciscans were getting together for a little retreat led by our very own Secular Franciscan Deacon! Together we reflected on being Franciscan, on minority, poverty, commitment and renewal. We closed the retreat with Adoration and Benediction.

So what does it mean to be a Franciscan in today’s world? Among other things, it means that we decide to serve rather than to be served; to “rebuild the Church” person by person, and to witness that people are more important than things.

And it means that we seek to surround ourselves with other who are striving for the same goal.

Today I am thankful for my Franciscan family! May this feast, and all days, be blessed.

Explanation FAIL

Little Brother and I attended Mass together this morning. He paid attention to the readings and even to Father’s homily, which linked the “Magnificat” from the Gospel to both the Visitation and the life of St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein).

That might seem like a stretch, but the gist of it was that “My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord” was central to the Blessed Mother’s life as well as to the martyrdom of St. Teresa.

After Mass was over, Little Brother asked me what the name of today’s feast was, again. He didn’t seem to be too familiar with the concept of the Assumption–especially after listening to a Gospel that told the story of the Visitation.

I told him that when most people die, only their soul goes to Heaven. But the Blessed Mother’s soul and body went to heaven upon her death.

It’s complicated. I can’t wrap my head around this mystery either.

Apparently neither can Little Brother, who then commented: “Mary could FLY? Wow, that’s COOL! I want to fly…”

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes


I remember reading The Song of Bernadette when I was in high school. It was from my parents’ collection of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books.

This morning my children’s school celebrated Mass in honor of the day. (Instead of First Friday Mass, the school chooses feast days of certain saints and celebrates Mass on those days. And the children learn about those saints ahead of time!) Today the deacon preached about the Gospel (the wedding at Cana) and how the Blessed Mother told the waiters to do whatever Jesus told them to do. Then he told them the story of the apparitions at Lourdes, and how Saint Bernadette also did the will of God. Finally, he reminded them that they, too, should do whatever Jesus tells them.

I never did get around to reading the full version of The Song of Bernadette. But I think it’s time I did.