There is new life growing in the Catholic Church. New hope, new possibilities. How can we say that at a time when life itself seems to be “on hold”?
Our society, indeed most of the whole world has experienced all at once something totally unexpected which upended so much of daily life as we knew it. The year 2020 has seen a pandemic of Coronavirus which was totally new, easily contracted, widely spread, lethal and knowing no cure. ‘Social distancing’ kept people apart, shut churches, schools and businesses, kept fans from sports events and patrons from restaurants. Except for doctors and nurses, essential workers such as those who maintain order and safety, transportation and infrastructure — the order was “stay at home”.
But what about “tomorrow”? There will be a tomorrow, and a next day, whenever they come. Many speak of a “return to normalcy” and long for the familiarity, peace and joy they assume it will bring. And except for the need for healing and adjustments, it is true that people will be able to rejoice and breathe more easily. But do we waste the wrenching and deprivation we have endured, the unnerving separation and loneliness, even the fear of death which threatened, the anxiety and uncertainty of “when?” — to return to “just what we had”, or with fresh eyes should we look up to “what we always really needed and wanted”? We’ve paid the price; now shouldn’t we claim the prize?
As we await with longing for the “new tomorrow”, can we join together in seeing what our suffering, experience, wisdom, hope and love can tell us what a better future might look like? We should do this for every aspect of our society, families, and personal lives — but, as people of Faith and as members of God’s family, the Church, what could be made better?