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The Mass Is Still With Us Even Under Quarantine

It would be strange to write just about anything without attending to the anxiety that so many of us are experiencing right now. We tremble from the fear that our loved one might succumb to an illness, denied medical care not out of cruelty but because there are no hospital beds or ventilators. We long for contact with our families and our friends, and yet the evil of this illness, this sickness, is that we must stay away, shut off from the very communities that support us. We worry about whether we can pay the bills not just this week, but the next—whether we will be able to feed our families. And we wonder how long we will need to stay away from eating and drinking the Body and Blood of our Lord, how long we will be unable to offer that sacrifice of praise in our parish church.  

There is a pious, albeit false narrative, that you should have no fear at all. If you have faith, then none of these things should matter. After all, our Lord has risen from the dead, he has conquered sin and death, and he will heal us too. If only if we have faith, then everything, absolutely everything will be OK.

But this is not what Christ’s Resurrection means. When our Lord rose from the dead on that first Easter morn, when light shone into the darkness of despair, our Lord did not promise that all sorrow, all tears would immediately be wiped away. In fact, for those who believe in the gift of the Resurrection, that our Lord has risen from the dead, forever changing what it means to be God and human alike, the tears will flow even more. We recognize the fullness of the delight of human life, because we believe that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. All that it means to be human, all the tears and joys, have been taken into the very heart of God. We cry, we worry, we fret this day because we know that this life is fundamentally beautiful: 

The God who was born in a stable,
who trekked the dirty road from Bethlehem to Egypt, 
who grew in wisdom and strength in the presence of his beloved parents,
who kept vigil along the bedside of dying St. Joseph, his beloved earthly father,
who savored the delights of friendship with his disciples,
whose heart was moved to compassion by the suffering of the hungry, the
thirsty, and the sick,
who endured all the evil that human beings might heap upon him as he carried
the cross to Golgotha,
who offered a tender goodbye to his mother and the beloved disciple,
who rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and now sits fully human and
fully divine,
has made this life of ours, this perilous and contingent life, forever and
remarkably beautiful. 

Read more at the McGrath Institute

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