The pandemic that has spread throughout the entire world has also affected Israel. However, we are fortunate that in our town of Miilya, in northern Galilee, which has three thousand inhabitants, no case has yet appeared. Still, different people face the situation in different ways: there are those who send their children to school and those who, out of fear, prefer their children to stay at home with their grandparents and play in the garden. The young people carry on as if nothing has changed. They still go around in groups and ignore the social distancing rules, no matter how much they are repeated. And then there are the elderly. They are extremely cautious at this time.
Since lockdown began, we have continued to carry out our activities through Zoom. This has given us the opportunity to invite young people from Jordan, Bethlehem and different cities of Israel to the same virtual meeting. This is something that was unheard of until now.
With the easing of lockdown we decided to go and pray a mystery of the rosary with a small group of young people at the door of the houses of the elderly, who feel especially alone at this time. It was a great joy for us to see what it meant for them. It brought them joy in the midst of fear even while taking all the necessary precautions, respecting the distances and praying with a mask.
In our totally Christian town, we most notice that we are in the middle of a pandemic at Mass. The rule is that only twenty people can be inside the church at a given time and they must be either young or middle-aged adults. The elderly and children stay outside because they are forbidden to enter. It is moving to see these grandparents “listening” to Mass and waiting until the end of the celebration, when the door opens and they can enter, one by one to receive Holy Communion. They are people who know from experience that they can do nothing without faith and without God. Like beggars, they stand at the door of the Church for an hour and a half waiting for their Lord, the Bread of Life. What a wonderful lesson for us.