March 26, 2021

Faith and Family / Sean Gallagher

This Easter, let’s give God and the world the best we can do

Sean GallagherWe did the best we could.

Never a family that has made television a big part of our life, we have a relatively small TV in a corner of our drab basement family room.

But that is where my wife Cindy, our boys and I gathered for prayer on Sundays for about two months a year ago during the first part of the coronavirus pandemic when public celebration of the Mass was suspended.

Easter Sunday fell during that sad period. Ordinarily our parish church’s sanctuary would be filled to overflowing with lilies and other spring flowers to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.

A dozen or more boys (including some of my sons) wearing cassocks and surplices would assist our pastor, who would wear a fine silk chasuble.

Joyous singing accompanied by a jubilant organ would all proclaim that Christ was alive.

Easter Sunday 2020 was different. In our basement of painted cinderblock walls and old carpet remnants covering a cracked linoleum tile floor, we had a few candles, one potted lily and small statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph gracing a trunk below our TV.

Nonetheless, we all dressed in our Sunday best to pray with an online video of an Easter Mass celebrated by our pastor in our parish’s empty church.

Yes, we did the best we could.

Thankfully, our best for Easter 2021 will be different. With a greater knowledge of how to protect ourselves and others against the coronavirus and with the development and distribution of vaccines, we’ll be able to gather for worship in our parish’s church to celebrate Christ’s victory over death.

Seating will be limited because of the ongoing pandemic, but limited seating is better than none at all.

Most importantly, I think that the best we can do for Easter 2021 will be different than Easters before the pandemic because my family and I will value the chance to take part in the Mass all the more since we were kept from doing that at Easter a year ago.

Maybe this is a gift that God has offered to us through the long trials of the pandemic during the past year.

The history of salvation shows us that God gives us the best of gifts through the suffering that he allows in our lives and which we bear for love of him. Christ gave each of us individually and all of humanity together the gift of eternal life with him in heaven through the horror of Good Friday.

How much more rich would the life of the Church be, how much more could we Catholics transform this broken world of ours into the kingdom of God, if our hearts overflowed each day with a conscious love for the Eucharist given back to us after it had been taken away, for good if still difficult reasons, during the pandemic?

Many of us have carried heavy crosses through the past year and continue to do so. Deaths that we cannot grieve over together. Separation from loved ones. Job losses. The crosses are many and varied.

They can all be redeemed and redeeming through the love and life of God we receive in the Eucharist.

Be open to the gift of a renewed love for the Eucharist this Easter. It could become the best ongoing effect of the coronavirus pandemic in our lives, bringing healing not only to our own hearts, but to the Church and world as well.

Just think of the best we could do then. †

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