The Easter Season ends with the Feast of Pentecost and with it the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem. This event marks the beginning of the Church. As we heard in last week’s Gospel, after His death, Jesus fulfilled his promise to send to his disciples a helper, an advocate, who would enable them to be his witnesses throughout the world.

He breathes the Holy Spirit upon the disciples and sends them to continue his work of reconciliation through the forgiveness of sins. Jesus bestows his disciples with the gift of peace, sending his disciples to continue the work that he has begun. The Gospel reading tells us that the Church is called to be a reconciling presence in the world. The reconciling presence of Christ is celebrated in the Church’s sacramental life. When we are baptized, we are cleansed of sin and become a new creation in Christ. In the Sacrament of Penance, the mercy of God is celebrated through the forgiving of sins. Reconciliation is to be a way of life for Christians. Where there is conflict, we are to be agents of peace and harmony among people.

Panel of Faith on the Frontlines participants

On May 15th, CMMB CEO, Bruce Wilkinson joined Dr. Mary Leahy of Bon Secours Charity Health System for a special livestream event presented by the Sheen Center for Thought & Culture. The event was titled Faith on the Frontlines and was moderated by Father Matt Malone, S.J. of America Media. The panel explored the intersection of faith and the world’s medical response to COVID-19. How are Catholic healthcare workers responding to the unique challenges of COVID-19, specifically caring for the “whole person” when treatment of this disease requires isolation?

The program also asks: how do we heal the healers? How do we provide support—mental, emotional and spiritual— for those men and women who, daily, sacrifice their own health and emotional well-being to serve their patients? Our mission leads with the phrase, “Guided by the example of Jesus…” Every program, service, and emergency response are done so in the footsteps of Jesus.

Our staff in New York City, country office leaders, frontline healthcare providers and community health workers—all work to bring peace, harmony and positive change to the communities we serve. And in times of conflict the urgency to achieve that peace becomes tenfold.

Today, as we face a conflict unlike any other, both at home and abroad, Bruce and Dr. Leahy stress the role of faith in navigating a response to COVID-19, especially for those who are most vulnerable.

“We have a deep introspection right now to look at our own societies and to try to rectify and bring some justice into places that have access for all.”

When our lord said love one another, he wasn’t talking about our neighbor across the street. He was talking about all of us throughout the world and we need to act that way.

In grace and peace,

Bruce Wilkinson signature

Bruce Wilkinson

President & CEO, CMMB