Putting Their Lives Back Together

Trauma in our lives changes us—but also allows us to become a new creation. A reflection for Holy Saturday.

As we walk through Holy Week, we offer you the thoughts of Fr. Dave Kelly, C.PP.S., who spoke on April 8 to members of our Missionary Hearts Mission and Ministry Society. His reflections in his life and ministry with the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation on Chicago’s South Side can inform how we experience this week with the suffering Christ, and with Christ’s suffering people.

Fr. Dave Kelly says that when we experience trauma, we are changed by it, like it or not. “A lot of times people try to put their lives back together as they were before. We see it in scripture. We hear that (after the events of Holy Week), the disciples are in huddled in the upper room, trying to recreate what they had when Jesus was with them, trying to hide out.

“In the Gospel of John, in the post-resurrection stories, after the apostles had experienced Christ’s crucifixion, they try to go back to being fishermen. Peter says, ‘I’m going to go fishing.’ The rest say, ‘We’ll go fishing with you.’ Scripture tells us that they catch nothing. Jesus appears on shore and tells them, ‘Put in on the other side of the boat.’ The catch is so bountiful that the boat almost sinks. So part of reconciliation is that we find ourselves trying to go back to what we know – and that never really works. Think about it in our own lives – we can’t ever put life back together when we’ve experienced traumatic loss—but the paschal mystery offers us a pathway to a new creation.”