By Father Timothy Gollob
Special to The Texas Catholic
As we enter into the great days of Holy Week, preparing for the joy of Easter resurrection and newness of life in mind, spirit and body, we need to reflect on the past weeks of Lenten penance and reconciliation. Warmer, brighter, greener days are coming, but do you remember the cold icy weeks of February and early March?
It was on one of those bitter cold days that I wandered out into the vast white mantle of snow that covered all of the pavement, the bushes and the trees. The whole world was almost at a standstill. Traffic was light and slow on Loop 12. No birds were singing. All that could be heard was the crunch of icy snow as I cautiously walked over to the church.
All the ugly blemishes of broken asphalt and scattered pecan hulls were hidden under the white mantle of snow. That was an excellent example of what had happened during Lent. We had fasted a little, prayed a bit and done some good works. Now all our sins and faults were gone.
Then I noticed some tracks in the smooth snow. There were the marks of a rabbit who had hopped out from under the bushes looking for food. Then a whole set of dog prints blemished the snowy surface along with the small prints of my cat and some birds.
Then I heard the sound of dogs barking over by the church. I hastened over there to discover that three dogs had treed my cat, Garfield. He was safely up in the lower branches of a pecan tree. As I shouted a warning at the barkers, they scattered and the cat stayed in the tree until he was sure all danger had passed.
Later in the day, all that was left in the parking lot was watery slush. It was then that the dogs came out again. I heard the barking and rushed to see three large hounds harassing what I thought to be a black puppy.
On closer observation, it turned out to be a skunk.
He made his identity well known to the dogs and to all humans by the great stink he distributed to all present. A week later his message still lingered especially in the building that he hid under after the attack.
Maybe our Lent is something like this. We pretend we can cover our human frailties with beautiful works. We can erase our sins with the sweet smelling scent of the sacraments. But the remnants of our human nature remain deep within us. Only the waters of baptism cleanse us completely. Only the risen holy one is our savior.
Father Timothy Gollob is the pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff.