By Megan Erbacher
“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
In early March, I attended Resurrection School’s 4th Annual Amazing Shake Challenge, which aims to help students perfect their etiquette skills. At the time, it was strongly advised to limit shaking hands and person-to-person contact to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the weeks since the competition at Resurrection, our world has struggled to find a new normal as everyone adapts to these unprecedented times to stem the spread of coronavirus.
This column has taken a turn from my original focus, which was genuine one-on-one connection without disruptions from technology. Now, though, that technology is allowing teachers to stay connected to fellow educators and students, it’s giving others the chance to talk to grandparents living in nursing homes who can no longer have in-person visitors and it’s keeping families connected until it’s safe again to have large group gatherings.
While sometimes technology appears to occupy too much of our time, now it is keeping us connected and allowing us to celebrate Mass from our homes since we cannot currently gather together.
The unknown can be scary, but our faith tells us to keep moving forward each day. We must take another step, and in doing so know that the future is in God’s hands. He will see us through this, and we must have faith in Him despite the uncertainty.
As the pandemic spreads, social media is overflowing with funny memes, which have provided some comedic relief through these unfamiliar times. However, I’m especially pleased to see numerous positive posts relating to God and faith. It’s so uplifting to see many people eagerly share their faith with the hopes someone else may find solace during a time of distress.
Through all of the uncertain chaos, may we remember to be grateful today and every day. Many of us are blessed with homes to allow us to practice social distancing, we’re able to spend more time with our children and the ability to make lunch for loved ones with food from the fridge.
Let us remember to thank God for all of our blessings.
On Twitter, Pope Francis said on March 20: "Let us pray for the many people who are dying alone, without being able to say goodbye to their loved ones. Let us pray also for the families who cannot accompany their loved ones on that journey." #PrayTogether
Let us remember to pray together, as a family, because we aren’t currently rushing through life.
When the world heals, may we never take for granted the Eucharist, celebrating Mass in our parish, or being able to offer the sign of peace to fellow parishioners who fill the surrounding pews.
May we also appreciate what once seemed a simple handshake greeting, a hug shared with a loved one, Saturday evening dinner, and overflowing grocery shelves.
Let us strive to continue to care for one another, as God calls each of us to do. Let us be the people He calls us to be.
Ephesians 5:14 tells us to: “Awake, o sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
Let us look to Christ for the light we so desperately need during this dark time.
In closing, I’d like to share some words from Father J. Kenneth Walker’s message to his parish in St. John Loogootee’s bulletin for March 22. Father Walker said, in part: “During this difficult time in our history, let us not forget that Almighty God is truly in control. Let us take advantage of this opportunity to grow closer to our Lord and see how he is working in our lives. While families are at home let us try to spend more time in conversation and interaction. The good that we will discover will amaze us!”