Since the closure of all churches in Quebec (Canada) since Christmas, I have no other choice but to celebrate my faith via the internet or zoom. Tuning in for daily Mass and making an Act of Spiritual Communion and Thanksgiving within the confines of my home has started to take its toll on me. I miss going to Mass! I miss being in God’s Home.
I find myself having self talk dissertations with God about the craziness we find ourselves in, and asking if the Hybrid (in person/internet) the future of worship? Is this the new normal? What happens if there is a blackout? Has anyone ever thought about what would happen if there was a world wide cyber outage?
I think back to Jesus, His apostles and the beginnings of the early Christian church, from small in home gatherings to the feeding of 5000. It is about community, socialization, communication, and it also is about being present – it is about one another – people. I thought about organizing in home worship, but in Quebec, the restrictions limit the numbers of “bubbles” allowed. Not only that, but most are living in fear – of catching Covid, or one of it’s variant. People have become afraid of getting together.
So I sit here and muse about the early church, and feel a sense of sadness, as I reflect on what I miss most about being in God’s house. I miss seeing the faces I always see during the week – mostly the elderly, along with young mothers. I miss the occasional crying of a child in the background. I miss walking through the church and taking some time in each area – the Divine Mercy statue, pictures of past popes, the stations of the cross, and saying a silent prayer after I light a candle. I miss greeting members of the congregation, “How are you?”
I miss standing before the altar and kneeling – giving thanks to God. I miss adorating the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I miss watching the candles flicker on the altar, and I miss being in awe.
No virtual mass can replace the feeling of Holiness in God’s house. No virtual mass can replace the feel of the Holy Spirit moving through the congregation. No online service can reproduce the tactile feel of receiving the body of Jesus. I miss gnawing and chewing the Holy Host and saying to myself, “You are mine, and I am Yours”.
We are part of the family of God, and being present in Mass is very much about love for one another, community, along with all the dynamics of social interaction. I pray for an end to forced isolation and vaccine passports. I pray for the right of each Christian to some way, somehow, connect again socially – not by zoom, or via online mass, or chat boxes, but in person so that we can lift up our praise, adoration and love of Jesus and worship him as a family.
I hold on to the belief that we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and, whose death on the cross as given us the way to the Father. So the little struggles I have now of being isolated from my family in Christ, is making me stronger (Romans 5:1-11):
5 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we[c] boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. 9 Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Let us remain strong in Jesus. I know that it has been hard for many around the world who are experiencing the same lockdowns and restrictions. I also know many are suffering emotionally, mentally, socially and financially. Let us give our suffering to Jesus, for that little pain is nothing compared to the suffering our beloved Jesus went through when He died for me and you.
Let us lift our voices, and ask God to ensure that each of us is provided for – that our daily bread is met.
God Bless 💖