We’re in unprecedented times, and we have no idea how much longer we’ll have to remain in isolation. Thankfully we have our families and our faith to get us through this difficult time.
Before I had six kids, I used to take my guitar to a local nursing home once a week. I’d sit in the lounge and sing folk songs with whoever showed up. We’d chat after a round of O, Susanna, or laugh when we couldn’t remember the words to the fourth verse of She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain.
There is no doubt that these are some unprecedented times! With church and business closings, cancellation of Holy Mass and the necessity of physical distancing, life has dramatically changed for most of us.
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29) In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus concretely defines who our neighbor is. Our neighbor is whoever needs our help, regardless of situation, status, skin color, or belief. Even more broadly, our neighbor is the Other, anyone who is outside of ourselves. Jesus’ ultimate example, which we are preparing to immerse ourselves in during this Lenten season, is His Passion, Death and Resurrection. Jesus’ sacrifice for us illuminates the essence of true love: willing the good of the other.
I write this on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, but you won’t be reading it for several days yet. I cannot imagine what the world will look like even in that short time span, so perhaps my words are dated by the time you read this. Even so, I will share with you two ideas we are implementing as laypeople to encourage prayer and community.