Posted by Br David Hawke
on 9 April 2020
Dear Brothers and Lasallian Partners
This Easter is going to be very different from any other we have experienced in our lifetime as we "stay at home" as advised strongly by the Governments of the four countries of the District of Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea. Over the past couple of weeks my inbox and I expect yours has been inundated with emails from various organisations and various places; all related to COVID-19. However, a couple of reflections out of the Christian scriptures of the day have prompted much food for thought for me. The first, based on readings from the Fifth Sunday of Lent was sent to me by a priest friend who while unable to celebrate a public Mass, each Sunday writes a homily. I share it with you. It speaks for itself.
"The world today is such a different world from what it was just two months ago. If only we could have stepped back into the world of two months ago, we will realize how much we have taken for granted. In this short span of two months, we have learned so many new things, things that are uncomfortable and embarrassing, things that are strangely reversed. We came to know of a new virus, COVID-19, and almost instantly we are immersed into the world of medicine and science. Before this we might not even have known the difference between a virus and a bacteria. Also, in a strange and funny way, the lowly toilet paper suddenly became as important as banknotes and cheques. In our country, supermarkets are open but, the shelves have strangely become empty. And we have learned new terms like social distancing (which sounds like a contradiction of terms) which actually means physical distancing, and which is also now known as safe distancing. We also now know how long one meter is. We have also come to know of other terms like Stay-Home-Notice, Leave-of-absence, Quarantine Order, etc. Indeed, the world today is so much different from the world of two months ago. And for all of us, our world will change one day. It is that day when we close our eyes to this world. And that was the case with Lazarus. His illness became mortal and he eventually closed his eyes to this world as death wrapped up his life in this world. In the darkness of the tomb, all life is absent, and the only thing present is the stench of death and decay. Death has the force to separate the dead from the living and that distance is final. We too feel a bit of that distancing as we are advised to stay indoors and not to go out unnecessarily. This mode of life is certainly far distant from what we were used to two months ago.
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