Did you ever play the game – it’s a math thing, so game may not be the best thing to call it, as game suggests fun or entertaining and math is rarely that – where you pretended that on the first day of a new job you made one cent, the next day you made two cents, the next day four cents, and so on? In other words: One cent, two cents, four cents, eight cents, 16 cents, 32 cents, 64 cents, and on up? On the 21st day you’d earn $10,485.76. Which is a lot, and indeed it wouldn’t be long before you were making ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD. (Word of the day: TITHING.) Anyway, the above is an example of exponential growth. Exponential means whole lotta. Which terminology doesn’t really matter except for the fact that if every person infected with coronavirus were to infect one other person a day, you’d have a similar result. This, dear friends in Christ, is why distancing is so important right now. Even though I hate it.
I’m grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make this past weekend’s YouTubed Mass a reality: Fr. Harmon, SJ, Dan Everson, SJ, Kathy Murzyn, Jon Michael Sullivan, and Suzie and Mike Wooldridge. And Rags, who barked at me from across the street. We’re going to keep doing this – and things like this – for the duration. Lemme tell ya though, it’s no fun preaching to an empty church.
Part of what’s so hard about this is the waiting. And then there’s the uncertainty. The Archdiocese has (wisely) cancelled all public Masses for the rest of March, but I think it’s reasonable to expect that the end of March won’t be the end of this. Unsettling, frightening, nerve-wracking: insert your favorite adjective. For our part, we’re going to soldier on.
My observation, based on a trip to our local supermarket, is that the good people of Denver are well-supplied with pasta, jar sauce, and bathroom tissue. Just saying.
The way we’ll get through this is to pull together, care for one another, and stay connected as best we can. BTW, DID you KNOW that a smartphone can ACTUALLY BE USED TO CALL SOMEONE? If you’re unsure about this, find an old person to show you how. It’s pretty nifty!
In the weeks to come we’re going to work on finding creative ways to support our prayer and worship. Two ideas have come forward already:
- We can pray the Rosary at the same time! Every Sunday morning at 9:00. Glorious Mysteries. Join us and feel the power of praying in common!
- While we can, we’re going to open the church for private prayer and eucharistic adoration! We’ll start tomorrow, Wednesday the 18th, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. We’ll have another session on Thursday the 19th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. No more than 10 people will be permitted to gather at a time, and you must maintain the required safe distance from one another of six feet. We’ll sanitize surfaces in the church before and after.
Yesterday a wise person mentioned “practicing hope.” Lovely little phrase, and something we can all do. My experience has been that fear is driven by loneliness and isolation. Things are easier when you know that you have people on your side. Which you do, and more on that tomorrow. Meanwhile, we can be sources of hope for others by being kind, attentive, and thoughtful. Even at the supermarket.
Are you beloved of God? You bet, and nothing changes that.