By Fr. Alex Radulescu - The Church has weathered many crises over its bi-millennial existence. The secret of its long-lasting existence is her head, Christ the Lord, who promised that “not even the gates of Hades shall prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) If the church was just a simple human institution, it would have collapsed long time ago.
But the Church, as the assembly of the people of God, is protected. The Church is not just the building and the bricks, it is the very Body of Christ, as St. Paul put it: “we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” (Rom. 12:5) In spite of our vulnerability to sin, the Church is holy because Christ, the head is holy.
This pandemic has definitely affected the daily life of our congregants but has not defeated the Church and will never do. If anything, this pandemic is putting our faith to the test. This time of physical separation from the rest of the body would be best used to reflect on our relationship with God and how we can improve it. Being away from the Sacraments of the Church is not easy but we can rest assured that Christ is with us always, even in isolation.
This separation has increased our appreciation for many commodities that we took for granted like toilet paper, sanitizer, eating out, going to a baseball game and so on. I am sure that when we get back together, we will have a newfound respect for community events, for fellowship, for congregational worship, for the Sacraments of the Church, for our family and friends.
Brothers and sisters, I can’t tell you how much I miss seeing you in the pews. I pray that we will get together soon to celebrate the mystery of the Body of Christ, the Eucharist, as we have done for so many centuries.
In the meantime, let us renew our commitment to help those in need, pray for the world, be patient and stay strong in the Faith. Every crisis can be used as an opportunity to draw near to God and to one another. Amen.