This year's Holy Thursday observances at Divine Redeemer Church provided me with new insights in two areas - one practical and the other spiritual.

The Mass of the Lord's Supper concluded with participants and parishioners forming a procession for a 1½-block walk to the parish hall. I carried a crucifix mounted on a pole as more than 100 people slowly processed to the hall with our pastor, Father Martin O. Moran III, carrying a ciborium containing communion hosts to the altar of repose.

The practical insight was that I never realized how many people had rain spouting that carried water from their porch roofs to the gutter. I repeatedly had to make sure the crucifix did not strike the spouting.

The second, much more profound, epiphany came a few hours later when my wife Jo Ann made it to the church hall for the final half hour of eucharistic adoration and then the night prayer at midnight.

It wasn't until we sat down on the folding chairs that the significance struck me. The parish hall was once St. Peter's Church until the merger of five parishes into Divine Redeemer nearly 19 years ago. It was in that church that I first caught sight of Jo Ann and eventually prayed for the courage to ask her on a date.

Obviously, God granted that prayer because less than 17 months later it was also the church where Jo Ann and I were married.

It was a moving experience sitting there in the profound silence in the presence of the woman I love and the God Who loves us.

Material items - houses of God - are subject to finite life spans of years and maybe even centuries. However, true love involving wife and husband, parents and children, siblings and true friends can grow ever deeper.

We left the quiet of the church hall secure in the knowledge that thanks to God's love for us, our love for Him and for others never has to end.

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God's love is both timeless and endless.