I believe that we are committed to the sentence from today’s Gospel which says: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” But there’s more to this than what most people do: “love your enemies; do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you” and “stop judging; forgive.”These are some of the characteristics of those who seriously follow Jesus and it is challenging. Our first response and our natural inclinations are the opposite: “get even; get the upper hand; I’ll show you.” It takes a lot of humility to say, “I have a long way to go.”We can all think of those times and places where our automatic response was far from what Jesus expects of us, but just because other people do not show a good attitude or are nasty or pushy or inconsiderate, does not mean that we cannot do better. Carry this Gospel with you this week: in your car, on the subway, on the street and I can guarantee this Gospel will speak to you. Jesus believes in us or else he wouldn’t have given us the words in today’s Gospel.
I wanted to share with you what the May 2020 Pilgrimage is about and why we are advertising it so early and taking reservations. The highlight of this Alpine tour is our attending the Passion Play in the town of Oberammergau, Germany. It is held every ten years and features a cast, an orchestra and a choir from this town. In 1634 the Black Plague was wiping out towns throughout Europe. The people of Oberammergau promised God that if they were spared, they would put on a Passion Play every ten years and so here we are at 2020. It is a six hour enactment of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. There is a break after the first three hours for a dinner break and then back to the remainder of the play. This play draws people from throughout the world and the play runs only from May to September almost daily. This is why we are advertising and taking reservations now so that we will be guaranteed seats and a tour in addition. This is a beautiful part of Germany and Switzerland: the Rhine Valley, Lake Lucerne, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Munich in addition to the play. The price includes your flight, ground transportation, hotels, most meals, tickets to the play, and a tour guide. We’ll arrange for daily Mass. Think about it, but don’t wait too long to put down the required deposit.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.