“The Church is closed” – What do you think when you read or hear this message on the news? My instinctive reaction is “gutted”, especially at this pivotal time of the year when Christians are called to celebrate together, the life, death and resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
For generations, Easter Sunday always began with the Easter Mass. The blessing of the fire, the lighting of the Paschal Candle and the renewal of our baptismal commitment. If you’re like me, this year feels very unusual. Something just doesn’t feel right. I think it’s because as disciples of Jesus, the Easter message is in our soul. It feels unnatural for us to not celebrate the Resurrection together! In a strange and even ironic way, we are called to even sacrifice our celebration together, to help save lives.
But is the Church really closed? This a loaded question, but one worth thinking about.
Our faith tells us that we are the Church. We are the Body of Christ and as such we remain united spiritually even if not physically. Together, we are the Body of Christ and God unites us in a particularly unique and special way this year. He unites us in his invitation to “listen” to this life, death and resurrection. Together, in our own homes, we listen to his message of love and how ultimately God’s love triumphs over evil. In Jesus, God shows us the depth of love that human beings (you and I) are capable of living and called to aspire to.
I wonder if this year, God is showing us that our unity as Christians is not only lived around the Altar at Mass, but in our actions, our attitude, our hope and our resilience. Perhaps God is using this opportunity to say to us, our Christianity is not only about “going to church” on a Sunday morning, but “being church” every day. Could God be using painful situation to say to us that our Christianity should not only be about liturgical actions, but charitable actions – a faith lived and alive within us?
Wish you and your family a happy and holy Easter.