By Erin Waters

It hit me. It hit me that I can no longer drive to our parish and go to adoration whenever I want. I can’t go to daily mass when I want. I won’t see my friends. I can’t take my kids to school, the park, the zoo, or activities. I can only shop at businesses that our local authorities deem “essential.” And no one knows when these restrictions will end.

It is a tragedy that our local authorities view alcohol and abortion as “essential” but churches are closed. I felt violated that my rights to access our Lord have been take away. A flood of emotions washed over me.  I started to despair, become angry, and then depressed. But as I thought more and more on this, humility sank in and I felt a peace.

Thank goodness for humility. I do not have a “right” to Jesus. Jesus is a gift. He freely gave His life for us to save us.  Perhaps this time is an act of His mercy to draw us closer. I don’t know about you but I’ve been forced to give up more this lent than I have in my entire life.

Our priests are also a gift. Their safety is important, especially since some are at higher risk. Humility reminds me of the need to obey the church authority.

Despite all the red tape, our parish received permission to have outdoor Exposition. Cars were parked every other spot to ensure safety. It appeared to be a great turn out. I cried tears of joy! I’m so grateful for our parish members and priests who made it happen! 

My Easter hope was renewed again. 

As I reflected more on this, The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) came to mind. The followers of Jesus were sad as they were walking back from Jerusalem. They missed their Lord who they thought was separated from them. They did not know that it was Jesus walking with them all along until he broke and blessed the bread, then they recognized Him.  

This reminded me that Jesus is always with us: Mt 28:20 “Behold, I am with you always until the end of age.” Our good Lord has used this time to show me, what is truly essential and I pray He has shown you as well. With that being said, do not fear and do not despair but have hope in Jesus and the Resurrection! We are an Easter people.

In closing I’d like to share a quote from Saint John Paul the Great: 

“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.

It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.”

Jesus I trust in you!

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