As we continue Lent, I would like once again to share with you one of my favorite stories on forgiveness—

An older man was sitting comfortably in the commuter train quietly reading his morning newspaper when he felt a sudden tap on his shoulder, and turned to see a young man who had gently scooted into the vacant seat beside him. “Pardon me, sir,” said the young man shyly, “I’m sorry to disturb you, but may I ask you for a favor? You see, the next stop of this train that we will be reaching in a few minutes is my hometown. I left it years ago after a terrible fight with my folks in which I had said some pretty awful and hurtful things and haven’t spoken with them or been back since. A few days ago though I wrote them a letter telling them that I would be passing by this way and, if they could find it in their heart to forgive me, to tie a yellow ribbon on the old elm tree at the train depot and I would know that they wanted to see me again. Please sir, could I ask you to look out the window for me and tell me if the ribbon is there? I just can’t bear to look.” Just as the young man finished his request the train pulled into the station, and the older man looked out the window and beamed a wide smile to the young man. “You have nothing to fear, you have to see this!” he said, pointing out the window: there, at the depot, was an elm tree with a yellow ribbon tied to EVERY SINGLE BRANCH, the whole tree was covered with ribbons! You see, the parents had been afraid that if there was only one he might have missed it.

Dear brothers and sisters, could this also be the reason why Our Jesus’ whole body is covered with wounds from head to foot? When you hear the story of the Passion at Mass in Holy Week please know that Jesus is the Great Sign you were looking for of how very much you are loved and wanted.

Prayers and Blessings in Our Lord and Lady,

Br. Christopher