In Spain the churches were closed last year during lockdown from March to June 2020. A year later we were able to celebrate Easter adapting things to the new guidelines.
Our relationship with God cannot be locked down.
The churches were closed but the experience of God and the relationship with Him is always open. God can find a gap to enter our hearts at all times and in all situations. I have the impression that more people are coming than before, now that the churches are open. It seems like the pandemic has awakened the thirst for God in many people and the deepest questions we have as human beings: What is the meaning of life? What do I want to achieve? Where am I going so quickly?
In the Almudena Cathedral, there is an image of the Christ of the Good Death which stands in the centre of the altar and it makes me think of his phrase from the Bible: “They will look at the one they pierced.” People are pierced by grief, loss, and fatigue. But a new way of looking at life is emerging where we approach God with gratitude, feeling we have been saved. Only He is capable of reorienting our life towards what is essential: communion with Him and with our brothers and sisters.
Loss of acquaintances
Many people ask me frequently, how do you cope with the loss of people you know? I feel like God has always been honest with us about death. He reminds us that we are limited beings and that our time on earth will come to an end. At the same time he reveals that we have been created for eternity, to live with him forever. A time will come when there will be no more tears, no more pain, a new earth and a new heaven. The loss of a close person hurts. It is not easy. It makes my heart sink but I thank God for the good people that he has allowed me to meet. Now that they have left I know more than ever that they are with him, interceding for me and for the mission.
Within the pain I recognize the unshakable hope that we are made for an inexhaustible Other. The pandemic is not the end and chaos isn’t the last word. He teaches us to live beyond this pandemic and to strongly believe that He is not the God of suffering but of Life in abundance.