Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Fr. Chuck's Column, April 19, 2020

We have just negotiated and survived one of the most unusual Holy Weeks Easters I have ever expe-rienced. Thanks to all who pitched in and helped with our live streaming of Masses and services. We are still learning how to master all this way of do-ing church in a virtual, electronic way. Thank you to all who have tuned in, and continue to support our parish with your prayers, donations, and good wishes.
We will be social distancing for at least a few more weeks. By the end of it, we will all have become experts at living a more con-fined life. The hermits and monks will have nothing on us! So many funerals, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, celebrations, anniversaries and other events have been put on hold. How will we ever catch up when this is finally over?
I do hope and pray that we will be able to gather by Pentecost. That would be wonderful. In any case, we will strictly adhere to and follow whatever are the social distancing regulations and sug-gestions to keep us safe. Especially as Christians we are called to care for our neighbor, and there is no more basic form of care than avoiding getting your neighbor sick.
I am perplexed, and more than a little upset, by those Christians claiming a “right” to worship who ignore the regulations for so-cial distancing, and have large gatherings in church during this pandemic. That is just not Christian. Jesus calls us to love our neighbor. Insisting on my personal right to gather for worship, rather than act in the care of my neighbor’s (and my own) health, just strikes me as very selfish and profoundly un-Christian. Jesus did nothing like that.
So while it is awkward, uncomfortable, financially ruinous and even depressing to practice social isolation for weeks and weeks on end, it really is the most loving thing to do. Jesus laid down His life for us. We are called to lay down our “rights” out of con-cern for our neighbor, as well as for ourselves.

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