Last night, I had some friends over for food, fellowship and prayer. It was the first time since the spring that I’ve had more than one friend come over, and it felt so good to have our little gathering. COVID has affected each of us in different ways, with one person with us coming down with the virus this past summer and gratefully, it was a mild case and he has fully recovered.
More than anything, this virus has been a major disrupter to daily life to people all over the world. This has been especially true for those who regularly attend church services. As Catholics, my friends and I have been participating in the sacramental life since childhood. The sacraments are a critical link to God and our faith community, and it was a terrible loss when religious services were declared “non-essential” by government officials and effectively banned throughout the world.
Participating in services on line vs. in person were helpful, but in reality they were a poor substitute for being physically present to pray and receive the Eucharist. Gratefully, there has been a gradual lifting of the restrictions and we have slowly been able to get back to Church, although the number of people able to be physically present is limited and many continue to choose to participate virtually.
Last night, my friends and I reflected on all the many blessings we have received in 2020. Sometimes, it’s very easy to remember all the negatives which have happened since COVID came to our shores at the beginning of the year. In truth, there have also been many things/events to be grateful for. As the year ends, I suggest that we focus on the blessings, which might help prepare us for the 2021, now just beginning. We cannot predict the future, but we can trust that the Lord wants the best for us and will be there every day, just as He has always been.
May God bless you and those you love in the days and months ahead.
Happy New Year!