By Sister Kathleen Mary O’Connell
My Church is not shut down! Yes, the doors of the buildings are closed, and our liturgical celebrations may be coming to us via social media, with our prayer becoming more personal and private, but the Church has not shut down. It is alive and well because we—you and I—are the Church.
The fact is that we are still worshipping our God, differently but authentically. Yes, we are not able to “go to Mass,” but we are living the closing admonition of each Eucharist: “Go forth and serve the Lord and one another.” This is an important aspect of our faith, that of service to our brothers and sisters.
And who is it that we are serving? None other than Christ himself. Remember what Jesus has told us: “When you do it for the least of your brothers and sisters, you do it to me.” What we are seeing now is many instances of people ministering to one another, looking out for each other in creative and loving ways. We are realizing that we are a community, a family. The goodness, the love, that is in each of us is readily coming to the foreground as we reach out to one another.
Look around you at all the wonderful things that are happening in our neighborhoods and cities. This is a great sign of hope for our world. Each of us, in our own way and place, is a part of this sign of hope. Thank you for being that sign.
Our quiet actions are a signal that our Church is NOT closed. It is alive and well in the people who are living the Gospel message. We know that soon the doors to our buildings will open. But it will be a changed community that gathers to worship. I hope we have learned the lessons that Love has taught.
And so we pray: Lord, we are grateful for the gifts of hope we receive from others. Let us in return pass it forward to those who need a helping hand, a comforting word, a sign of hope. Let us be “Eucharist” for one another. Amen.