+Fr. Joseph Strzelecki, Assumption Church - Town & Country, MO | May 3, 2020
Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! Christ is Risen!
Looking back on my experience during this unusual time, I’m reminded of what happened at the beginning of the crisis. After we had received guidelines from the Archdiocese on how to proceed, I noticed an almost instant change taking place in the atmosphere of our church and in our families. Almost instantly, it seemed as though everything superficial began to fade away. We were left with essentially two things: the liturgical life of the Church, and our relationships with family and friends – that which truly matters.
The atmosphere in the church became more serene and peaceful, even before live-streaming the services became a necessity. I realized God had given us a heavenly gift – an experience of prayer and worship in a backdrop filled with stillness, free of distractions, petty shallowness, or judging. We rediscovered genuine feelings of Godly care, brotherly love, and concern for the well-being of others. I wondered if a cultural shift might be under way.
God had given us an opportunity to wrestle with the truly important things of life, but first we had to go through the pain of setting aside childish things. For we had busied ourselves much with so-called "important" things. As it turns out, many of the things that we considered highly important, in fact aren’t as important as we had thought. Only one thing is needful – the Holy God and, by extension, family and friends. Church is all about relationships. So now we’re left with the essentials – time for prayer, time for family, and time to connect with extended family and friends, even though over the phone or by Facebook. But the most important thing is that we’ve been granted time.
Many blessings have come, and will come out of this unprecedented time of national emergency. Our God is a good God who loves mankind. His wisdom is incomprehensible. He permits everything to happen for divine reasons. Let us pause and reflect to count our blessings. Then, ask ourselves: What is God teaching me? How must I change? What am I going to do differently when this is all over?”
Brothers and sisters, Christ is risen! Let us hold fast to the good things we’ve adopted and discard the superficial. May He who is risen from the dead, Christ our true God, bless all of us: our parishes, our families, and our nation. May He grant us the wisdom, courage, and strength to change our lives, so that we may offer to Him all that we have learned as a well-pleasing sacrifice in so desperate a time as this.