March 29, 2021
Last year’s Holy Week and Easter celebrations gave us mixed feelings. Yet, I don’t think the pandemic had undermined the movement of the Holy Spirit in our hearts albeit the physical absence of the Congregation and the drastic restrictions on the number of ministers serving at the altar made the events quite emotional, at times melancholic.
However, we are still fortunate that only the physical doors of the church were closed but not the doors of our hearts that seek to continually express our communal worship no matter how limited this would be. So, we, the Church did not really stop worshipping the Lord. The church parking lot became an open space for worship when we could not gather inside the church building. Masses, Confirmation, Baptism and Confessions were all done outdoors, until we were allowed to go back inside to worship, two months ago or so. All our Masses have been live-streamed through Facebook Live. With the encouraging downturn of Covid-19 cases recently, more and more people are cautiously coming back to church in-person to join in the public worship.
On Easter Sunday, I am very excited to see more people in person coming to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection, the epicenter of our faith. We are providing more services that day than usual. In spite of Governor Ducey’s E.O. issued today, lifting the enforcement of all Covid-19 restrictions, our church is not letting its guard down. We will continue to implement its current protocols that aim to mitigate the spread of virus, like the use of hand sanitizer prior to receiving holy communion, physical distancing, wearing of mask and giving communion in the hand, until these protocols are further relaxed by the Most. Rev. Bishop Weisenburger, Bishop of Tucson who conscientiously guides us in setting up safety measures for public worship.
We understand that the pandemic has shaken up some people to the core, especially those who have experienced the wrath of this plague in their families, but we believe that this world crisis has made a lot of us better believers, spiritually stronger individuals and more caring people of the land.
This we believe, God is always with us. And nothing can separate us from Christ. As St. Paul said: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things,* nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth,* nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38-39).
On Easter Sunday, as we renew our faith and gratitude to the Risen Christ, let us also affirm the infallible truth: “We will never be defeated by any trials in life because our Risen Lord is way more powerful than all the viruses and variants combined!”
See y’all at this week’s liturgical celebrations.
Have a meaningful Holy Week everyone!