Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is time to come home! Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, all of us, in one fashion or another, have experienced a
displacement in our lives. From the initial lockdown and the sudden move to isolation at home, to major changes in how we socialize with others, to the general unease and anxiety that Covid-19 brought with it;
through it all, it’s been hard to find an anchor in every situation. Yet, now that we are emerging back into a greater normalcy, I reecho my opening statement: It’s time to come home!
The Catholic Church and our local parish are built to be a home to all. While we’ve been cooped up in our houses and minding our social distancing, things like the livestreaming of Mass have been an actual godsend to provide a connection to our parish family when it was difficult and at various points impossible to gather physically. I’m so personally grateful for having the ability to bring it into our parish and to have it serve such an important role in our time through the pandemic. And while it’s not going anywhere, it’s time to have it take a step back for those of us who can attend Mass in person. It’s the proper time to start coming back to Mass in full force.
I understand that this represents a transition. Some of us have gotten pretty comfortable with viewing Mass in the comfort of our homes, perhaps with a cup of coffee nearby and even slippers on our feet. It has been very convenient in many respects. Even the ability to play back a Mass from earlier in the day has been advantageous for people who have difficulty being ready for Sunday morning. But that comfortability cannot become complacency. And the invitation back to Mass in person and the reinstating the obligation to attend Mass is in no way meant to be punitive but rather an aid to your spiritual life.
That’s because what a livestreamed Mass cannot give that Mass in person can is none other than the centrality of our faith, the Eucharist. The real and tangible experience of God’s presence found in the Eucharist, can never be transmitted properly over a computer screen. The ability to receive Jesus Christ physically in Communion is unique and only occurs for us through attending Mass. Please, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to come and share in the Eucharistic feast, where Christ’s presence is given so freely to us in the Eucharist.
In the coming months, we’re going to be looking for anchors; those things that help steady us while society continues to transition into a post-pandemic world. In my estimation, there are no better anchors out there than what we find in our parish. Anchored by the Eucharist, our common faith, and the loving community that exists at St. Charles, we will rise to meet any challenges we face in the months to come.
Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan