Here’s a lovely reflection upon the presence of Jesus Christ amid all the unusualness and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic written by Brian Flynn, Director of Middle School/High School Ministry for the Diocese of Lansing. His prayerful conclusion is thus: Do not fret, Christ is still here.
“As this pandemic drags on, it may be difficult to stay positive and to recognize the Lord in the midst of it all. For some, they are on the front lines in various capacities and the anxiety is sky high,” writes Brian, April 27.
“We have all heard the phrase (and probably the cheesy rock ballad from the 80’s) 'don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone'.”
"It may feel like the Lord is gone, absent or in hiding, but it’s still Easter, the Bridegroom is still with His bride, the Church. Take time today to see the blessings in your life, to look and listen for the Lord. He is still here.” Brian’s reflection is reproduced in full below:
• “I am still here” by Brian Flynn:
During a moment of prayer last week, I had a phrase keep coming into my mind; “I’m still here.” As I continued to pray and reflect on these words, looking to unpack why they kept coming into my mind and what they could mean, I felt that the Lord wanted His people to know that He is still here.
As this pandemic drags on, it may be difficult to stay positive and to recognize the Lord in the midst of it all. For some, they are on the front lines in various capacities and the anxiety is sky high. For some, they are neck deep in the frenzied chaos of home-schooling. For some, their employment situation may have changed, or been eliminated altogether. There are weddings, funerals, first communions, confirmations, graduations, summer conferences and trips all being cancelled or postponed. For some of these events, they will still go on but with many fewer attendees and much less pomp and circumstance. In all of these situations, I believe the Lord is giving us a gift; Himself.
Without all of the elements that can often distract us from Him, the crowds, the celebrations and company of friends and families may be temporarily gone but He still remains. Perhaps first communions will take place staggered, individually or without extended family and friends, but Jesus will still be there. Maybe confirmations will be celebrated in smaller groups or regionally, but the Holy Spirit will still come. A wedding may still take place but without the huge crowd of family and friends. But the Lord will still be there to bless that union. Though most of us are currently unable to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist, we are being given an unprecedented opportunity to experience Him in community with our spouses and children. For those who find themselves alone due to being single, widowed or isolated in other ways, the Lord is giving the opportunity to let Him fill the silence and to hear Him say, “I’m still here.”
I was praying before Confession recently and was convicted that I need to be more grateful. I had found myself getting caught up in the fear and uncertainty of the current situation and I realized that even in the midst of loss, confusion, stress, anxiety and complete loss of control, the Lord has blessed me abundantly and is revealing new ways for me to recognize Him in my daily life. Most of the activities and events that would have occupied my schedule this spring are no longer, and that has allowed this space to be filled with the Lord in different ways, to recognize where He has been blessing and that He is still here. We have all heard the phrase (and probably the cheesy rock ballad from the 80’s) “don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.” It may feel like the Lord is gone, absent or in hiding, but it’s still Easter, the Bridegroom is still with His bride, the Church. Take time today to see the blessings in your life, to look and listen for the Lord. He is still here.
Yours in Christ,
Image: The Finding of the Savior in the Temple (1854–1860) by William Holman Hunt (1827 – 1910)