We are in an interesting and unprecedented time in history. The reality of COVID19 has turned our lives upside down. Our schools, playgrounds, gyms, nail salons, barber shops, theme parks, movie theaters, malls, community centers, churches (etc.) are all closed. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine this would happen in 2020.
Sure… historically certain church buildings have been shut down and even destroyed due to persecution, war, famine, plague (etc.). But never has this happened on a global scale. Nor has it ever been a united decision by both government officials AND church leaders and all due to a flu like virus. It really makes you pause and wonder… What is God’s purpose in all of this? What is he trying to communicate to us?
I am not going to answer such loaded questions in their entirety right now because most of their answers are subjective and require personal discernment. Meaning that we must each, individually, pray and search our hearts to understand what God is trying to communicate to us as His children. However, why don’t we take a step back from the subjective realities of this situation for a moment.
Instead, why don’t we focus on the objective realities, like:
“What is happening right now?” Churches are closed and we are being asked to stay home due to COVID19. “What does that mean for us as Catholics?” It means we cannot gather to receive and/or participate in the sacraments. “Why?” To slow/stop the spread of the virus. “What is so heart breaking and difficult about that as a Catholic?” We believe in Christs presence in and through all the sacraments of the church. “Ok, so how do we collectively respond to this situation?…”
Here is where the rubber meets the road. This is the million dollar question. “As Catholics, how do we respond to an inability to receive and participate in the sacraments?” I believe that there are only two ways we can/will respond to this crisis as Catholics:
1. We will choose to let our circumstance lead us away from the Catholic Church and destroy any love/devotion we had for the Sacraments.
2. We will choose to let God (through our circumstances) lead us deeper into the beauty and mystery of the Catholic Church and develop a deeper love/devotion to the Sacraments.
This is our choice! God’s grace and Spirit is being made present to us all the time. Will we let it guide us through these bizarre times? This experience is just another step in the journey of our faith. Sure, it is difficult and new. But it is certainly not bigger than God’s love or plan for us as His children.
The Mass Revealed:
Before COVID19 hit we were going to have a teaching mass on April 1st, at St Martha’s. The purpose of this “teaching mass” was to deepen our love and devotion to God through the sacrament. We were going to do this by learning about and participating in the mass.
Soooo, instead why don’t we take this time away from the mass to grow in our longing for it? We can do this by learning (and more fully understanding) what the mass is all about; and how we can fully participate in it when we return to mass.
To start watch the following video:
Next click on the following links and read the following materials about the churches teachings on the mass and the Eucharist:
Vatican Resource (CCC): Click Here
USCCB Resource: Click Here
Finally, watch one last video before filling out the form below:
This video is an artistic representation of the spiritual Reality of the mass. It is meant to depict what we believe is truly happening at every Catholic liturgy, but it usually goes unseen.