Although Virtual Church is our current reality for weekly worship, we remain community. There have been many times through the centuries when the Church has been forced to scatter, either through war or persecution, or due to pandemics of various kinds. And yet the Church as the people of God always continues on and is often somehow curiously strengthened! We look forward to the day when we can come together again with a great celebration, even though we don’t know when that will be, but in the meantime, we will do our best to keep in touch and to encourage one another.
If you’d like to be in touch with one another to chat and catch up, I am organising another virtual morning tea this coming Friday at 10.30am. I plan to vary the times to do this as I realise many of us have competing Zoom catch-ups in these strange times! A Zoom invitation is attached to this e-news – just get yourself a cuppa and click on the link for a relaxed social gathering.
Also – don’t forget to send in a photo of yourself, or your family group with a simple ‘Peace be with you’ sign.’ It’s a really good way to greet one another virtually during the online Mass, and to wish each other peace in these curious isolated times.
Today’s Gospel could be speaking directly to us today. Don’t be anxious or afraid, Jesus tells his disciples and us. No matter what the loss, no matter how much sadness, no matter what the situation, keep trusting, keep hoping and don’t be afraid. Jesus is talking to his disciples at a very difficult time, when the feared they were walking into trouble, arrest or even death. Do not be afraid. This is not our instinctive reaction to troubled times. Perhaps our first reaction tends to be panic. But the choice we always have is to choose, with God’s strength rather than our own, to relax and to say ‘God’s got this’.
This passage has often been misused to put up barriers and lock people out of a relationship with God unless they believe certain propositions, or follow a certain path, but Jesus is instead telling us that in Jesus we see what God is like: compassionate, forgiving, grace-filled, welcoming and above all, with us. One of the Easter lessons we’ve been exploring over past weeks is the disciples’ realisation that they weren’t alone in their fears and their doubts because the risen Jesus was walking with them through the darkest of times.
Don’t be anxious! Jesus says. Don’t let your hearts be troubled! Just keep on going along the way, even though all our certainties seem to melt around us and we’re not sure what will happen next. Just be assured that Jesus has our backs and will bring us through.
In peace, Mother Lynda