Opinion From Herald columnists and readers
ARLINGTON, Va. With the rapid changes brought on by COVID- 19, there is an incredible level of stress for everyone in the country. We have worries about our families, our work, finances and loved ones living in areas that may be experiencing an even greater impact than we are.
Several years ago, a summer heat wave of historic proportions settled over Europe, leading to the death of over 14,000 people in France alone. Many of the victims were elderly citizens who were left behind in major cities as their families and neighbors enjoyed their summer holidays far from the country’s urban areas.
Like two disciples in St. Luke’s Gospel walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus on Easter morning, through some strange set of affairs we seemed to have missed Jesus today. Perhaps we saw him on television or had an encounter via prayer. But we missed him in the Eucharist and with our brothers and sisters, and it might have caused our faith to shrink back a bit. But we are not of those who shrink back and are lost, but those who by faith hear the same words as came to Augustine in his garden, “tolle, lege,” which means “take and read.” May we find Christ opening himself to us the Scriptures, using words to call us closer in this time of testing.
What are we Catholics to do? No Mass, no socializing, no Sunday visits. God has certainly given us hope and with hope anything is possible. With hope comes spring and with spring comes plenty to keep us busy in the garden. For those of us who have a yard to tend to, now is a great time to start. For those who don’t have a yard but want to grow plants in containers, now is the time for preparation. All of us who share in being inside our homes and have houseplants, now is the time to help them grow.
This past week, on a Good Friday that none of us will ever forget, I stood with Father Ron Raab in the parking lot at Sacred Heart Church on the west side of Colorado Springs, watching our homeless get a hot meal from a Salvation Army food truck. The Sacred Heart parking lot is one of two locations that has allowed for the mobile meal service: many others, including city parks, have prohibited the temporary onsite service.
The Lord is risen!” “The Lord is risen, indeed!”
Christians around the world share this sign and countersign when greeting each other throughout Eastertide. For the Church, the Bride of Christ, the Resurrection is an event too glorious to observe on a single day.
Stephanie Weinert’s Instagram followers have come to expect unfiltered captions to go with her pretty pictures. That’s why she has amassed 7,000 followers, who click on images of her five young children and, in doing so, access her tips on skincare, home decor and liturgical living.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, churches are shuttered, and we huddle in our homes, afraid of cellular microbes we barely understand. The old and infirm at greater risk, we worry for our loved ones and our faith community. Things may well get worse before they get better, but we are of a faith that has endured greater storms than we face even now. So as we hunker and bunker down, work from home, rush through the grocery stories looking for toilet paper (no, stop that!), we know that “everything works together for good for those who love the Lord and are called to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Perhaps time at home means more time with family.
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