I just want to thank everyone this week for all of the kind words and prayers while I’ve been quarantined. I’m happy to tell all of you that I am feeling much better. Last Friday I came down with a high fever. Saturday, as you know, I asked deacon to have a Communion Service while I got tested, and well, the rest is history. I’d also invite you to please keep our secretary Sue in your prayers, she also tested positive and while she’s feeling better will be working at home until we’re both cleared.
I’m also thankful to Father Earl, the Prior at St. Vincent Archabbey for sending a priest this weekend so that we are still able to have mass. At this point, provided all goes well, I’m due to be cleared on Tuesday November 10th. So I’m hoping to be back with all of you for next weekend. Just because I don’t want to count my chickens before they’re hatched, we’re going to plan on continuing to have all masses at the Chapel through November 14th & 15th, and then plan to go back to our normal schedule on November 21st & 22nd.
This has been quite the experience, walking through this mysterious illness that has changed our world so dramatically. I’m very thankful that I had a very mild case. Please continue to pray for those in our community who are also sick with COVID, especially all those who were far more sick than I was. I really appreciate everyone who offered to stop by and pick up groceries, or other little things as I couldn’t go out. Please make sure you’re checking in on your neighbors and doing the same for them.
As I look around the world right now, I know I’m not quite sure what to think. Emotions are high, people are upset. It’s a scary world right now. It feels like our entire world has been turned upside down. It’s tempting to want to lash out at the world, yet what good does that do.
On the other hand, I look at this Gospel, at the wise and prudent virgins, and I look around at our world. There’s one group that somehow, through all of this chaos, I keep hearing from. Some of my friends who are now women religious, especially some of our new vocations. Every time I encounter them, they’re simply living their life, full of joy with their love for Jesus Christ. It’s a joy that’s infectious. Simply because they realize that the real battle isn’t in this world. The real battle is between heaven and earth, a battle that Jesus has already won. It’s an amazing thing to watch these young women, all in their habits, all living together, praying together. The joy they radiate from their love for Christ has such a profound effect on everyone around them. The whole world simply changes in their wake. That’s the image I’d encourage us to capture.
In this moment, can we turn to our faith, look at the saints, and work to become the person that someone could look at us and see the joy of Christ radiating from inside of us, inspiring us to reach out and care for those around us, no matter who they are, no matter where they are. Even if all we are capable of doing is praying for them, those prayers are a very real help.
We live in a world that seems ready to hate and unwilling to forgive, let’s do what we can to be different. Care for others, even those we’re tempted to think don’t deserve it. We all need each other right now.
- Fr Matt
Father Matthew Baum is the Parish Administrator at Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.