The following reflection is by a fifth-generation member of the Mission of Sacred Heart in Bevier. Diagnosed with autism at age 9, he communicates solely through writing.
Walking through the year 2020 for most of us was a struggle, and most people considered this an extreme inconvenience. Some of us even felt it was an infringement on our rights as free citizens of this country.
I personally had a different experience. My family is involved in everything and always on the go.
During the pandemic, we were, of course, forced to take things slowly, enjoy the solitude of outside activities, and appreciate each other just a little bit more.
I have sat many hours wondering what God wanted us to derive from these “hardships,” and I have come up with a few possibilities.
During the pandemic, we discovered material possessions and money have little importance toward gaining happiness.
Because so many of us were denied the opportunity to see our loved ones, especially those in the nursing homes, we realized how much our families mean to us.
We ached to be in their presence and prayed for the day we would be united. Those family ties can never and should never be taken for granted, and just maybe we have learned that over this past year.
Secondly, we as a family, community, country and world started thinking of and praying for each other just a little bit more.
Because all of us found ourselves on common ground, we were connected. We were aware of and prayed for the people all over the world suffering from this terrible virus.
We, for once in our lives, were thinking of others in not only our daily thoughts but in every waking moment.
Do you think God was telling us something?
And lastly, I believe we learned how badly we need our Church family and the privilege of attending Mass.
Yes, it is a privilege we should never cast away lightly. The Church community and daily or weekly Masses keep us connected and grounded in our faith.
Luckily, with today’s technology, we were all given the opportunity to participate in Mass from our home, but the actual feeling of community was lost.
So, what have we learned from this past year of pandemic?
I have learned to love. Love my family, others, and my Church with a love of gratitude. To be without each of these in my life would be a real tragedy.
At this time during Holy Week, we are walking with Jesus through His experiences when He was on this earth.
His journey led to a Heavenly peace.
My wish for us is that this past year will lead us that much closer to our peace.