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So, it is Sunday and once again we were unable to attend Mass. The 50 person limit was filled to capacity and so our family was not invited…(doesn’t that sound weird – “not invited to Mass“)
It wasn’t until my son asked if we were going to Mass this weekend and I responded with – “no, we were not invited”, that I realized just how weird it truly sounded.
How different life is this October?
The last two Sundays we were invited to attend Mass, that was a blessing…
But this week, as we all sat around the television participating with the Mass that had been taped the prior evening, my husband who is a Deacon gave the homily, I was struck with how my children seemed to have lost their attention span and reverence when Sunday morning comes around and we are home in front of a television.
My husband and I make sure we are all dressed and that everyone participates, but things are surely different.
Going to Mass has been a priority for our family for 23 years. And now a virus, and the world’s reaction to it, has made it a rarer occasion and something that is so very missed.
Our children used to serve almost every Sunday alongside their Deacon father. Now, I fear that they are deciding that life has gone on generally pretty fine without any real Sunday obligation.
That if open churches and Sacraments were not a priority to fight for or to push to make available, then why should it be treated as something important in our life at any time in the future…
Is it really essential?
Not to mention those who were just hanging on by a thread of faith. Only attending church when it was somewhat convenient, what must they be thinking?
They now have their weekend wide open for what ever it is they fancy to do.
Back before the whole lockdown, our church was maybe half full. What can we expect now?
This coming Sunday, the new limit for persons at church will be 100. I pray that we have that many.
But, the reality is, we were all told to stay safe and protected we should not gather, we should keep our face covered, and never get too close to another person.
Is this a new way of life that we will ever unlearn?
If this ‘new normal‘ doesn’t significantly downplay the community and the importance of it, I don’t know what does. If you focus on this reality things certainly look very bleak…
What can we do? …We Can Hope Today…
11 For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.
12 When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you.
13 When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart,…Jeremiah 29:11-13
The Good News is, there is always hope today ( when we look for God & we seek Him with all of our hearts). I for one, would not want to approach life without acknowledging and embracing this particular virtue and promise.
Our hope is in the Lord alone. As we honestly proclaim it and live it out in daily life, even in these difficult times, it will always multiply and spread to those who encounter this holy hope in us.
This is how we are going to have to face the world and state of the Church ahead of us – with holy determination and the praying for, grasping, and clinging to divine hope.
Some of us are more comfortable sharing hope in little ways. A smile of encouragement is a small proof of hope. But, that is still 100% hope. 😊
We Must Guide Those Around Us
We have to become lights in our world that will make others take notice and look at our hope-filled lives and want to know why we have it.
Then pray that they are moved to follow our intentional living toward God with an open and hopeful heart…
Setting a real and ‘full of Hope‘ example is now more important than ever before.
The truth is, due to the limiting of our Religious Freedoms and the ability to practice them as we would like, there will be undoubtedly some kind of negative effect on our Church, our society, our communities, and yes even us personally.
We already see it everywhere in the blaming, division, complaining, judging and finger-pointing all around us.
But now is not the time to waste time thinking about it, or taking part in it.
Now, right now, it is time to pick up our weapons of faith (Scripture & Rosary), pray harder, and continue our daily journey with heaven in mind.
What our present circumstance is really calling us to do – is to intentionally show and share the real light and hope of the world. To lead others to come and pray alongside us.
It truly begins with each one of us.
As I reflect on my family and how the happenings in the world around them may be affecting their view on the importance of our Church and their participation in it…
…I certainly have a lot of ‘hope‘ sharing to do…
I need to take the time to embrace them often, speak Truth, and intentionally share now the hope today and hope for tomorrow – that has been promised us – promised by God himself…