Its hard to believe that it has already been a month since I was on quarantined. But it was also eye opening. I became much more vigilant and aware about COVID-19. Here’s what I mean: For the first couple of days after my exposure to the virus every decision I made became more scrutinized. For example, the day after Fr. Colin, the pastor of Holy Redeemer and my good friend, called to see if I wanted to watch Monday Night Football with him. I said, we probably should not since I was in a soft quarantine. Then the next day, I needed to go to Costco or Meijer to purchase some food. Normally, that does not require much thought, but this time, I had to stop and ask myself, “is it appropriate for me to go shopping right now? Am I putting others at risk if I leave my house?” Because I was exposed, I became hyper aware of COVID-19 and was even more vigilant with every decision I made.
The coronavirus has been a nightmare, and regardless where each of us stands personally with this health crisis, it does offer us an interesting insight into the first weekend of Advent. Christ is asking us to watch closely for the second coming. He wants us to be awake and alert for the coming of the Lord. In other words, Jesus wants us to be hyper-focused on his second coming and to be vigilant – to be on the watch!
And our protocols and procedures, our carefulness and vigilance with COVID-19 can show us how to be spiritually vigilant for Christ.
During this pandemic we have become accustomed to many things, but these three things in particular: 1) Hand Sanitizer, 2) Masks, and 3) Social distancing. We wash our hands and use sanitizer often, why? So that we can protect ourselves from germs. So that our hands to become an avenue for germs to make us sick. We are more vigilant and cautious about going out into public without a mask, why? Not because we are afraid of others, because it’s a small thing that we can do to love the other person. Just in case I have the virus and am unaware of it I will wear this mask, this uncomfortable thing, in order to love and protect others. And we are vigilant about keeping our distance from one another, why? So that we don’t spread the virus and so that one day soon we can be close with out families and friends again. The vigilance we have right now towards COVID is about reaching the end of the pandemic, so that we can be reunited once again with our families and friends. The end goal is to get past this pandemic so we can live our lives together again.
And so now, here we are, and Christ is asking us to be vigilant, to have a careful watch for his second coming, why for the purpose of Social Communion. For us to have Social Communion, Christ too wants us to have spiritual vigilance. He invites us to use spiritual hand sanitizer, to wear our spiritual masks, and to practice spiritual social distancing so that we can be a united family in heaven. So, what is spiritual hand sanitizer? In our first reading we heard how our sin makes God angry and makes us unclean. Christ is calling us to repent. He wants us to take our spiritual hand sanitizer so that we our hearts can be made pure – that we love God above all things. What does our spiritual mask look like? Our spiritual mask is our willingness to love others as God Loves them. Our spiritual mask reminds us that our lives are not about us, but about God. Our spiritual masks motivates us to make sacrifices to love the other person in front of us. And finally, what does Spiritual social distancing look like? Spiritual social distancing is about separating ourselves from negative habits, vices, things, and at times people that keep us from God. Jesus invites us to be vigilant about all three of things so that we can have Social Communion. So that on the day of Christ’s coming, we may be aware and ready to see him, so that we can be with him and all the saints and angels in a beautiful social communion in heaven.
In Christ’s love and friendship,