Let our homes become our church

Apr 12, 2020 by

by Luke Doherty, The Conservative Woman:

ONE of the most devastating privations since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic has been the closure of churches and the suspension of public liturgies.

Easter Sunday is particularly characterised by the new reality of Christians everywhere being prevented from gathering together for the worship of God, where we can raise our hearts and minds to Him, and in the hope that this virus will come to an end. Friends have asked why this matters so much, suggesting we can surely praise God individually and from our own homes. But I gently remind them of Christ’s words in the gospel: ‘Wherever there are two or three gathered in my name, there I am with them.’ (Matthew 18:20)

Christians have endured the coronavirus during the penitential season of Lent – 40 days of prayer, fast and almsgiving that mirror Christ’s isolation in the desert. This Lenten fast usually means abstinence from alcohol or cigarettes; or chocolate and crisps. But this year, Christians have fasted from something much more profound: physical access to the Mass and Holy Communion.

The Lord’s flock are isolated and separate. This desolation and wilderness is even more dramatic as it reaches into the triumphant joy of Eastertide. This is an understandable source of intense pain for priest and layman alike. Many Christians will never have had an Easter Day like it.

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