...or...Faith Can Move Mountains But Not Mountainous Dogs...
Living room Mass with the Archbishop. The New Norm, at least for the time being.
My kids liked it pretty much. I was so impressed with how well they behaved and quietly listened. Even Natalie was all in with this new form of worship.
So just a little judginess on my part, here. There is now NO EXCUSE to not attend weekend Mass! Seriously. Between all the live streams and all the recorded services you can watch online, not to mention EWTN and a few other TV stations where you can watch the Mass, never before has it been easier or more convenient.
Oh! And since all youth sports is cancelled for the near future, and pretty much half of us or more aren't supposed to go to work because we're not considered "essential" (how insulting is that BTW), most of us cannot say with any credibility, "I had too much going on."
Ok. Done with being judgey.
My family got started with this new form of online worship on Friday with the Pope's special prayer service. That was super cool. Here's the breakdown of that wonderful if also somewhat spooky event:
It started with the Gospel of Mark Chapter 4:35 when Jesus took the disciples across the sea and a big storm threatened the boat. He of course is sleeping, because why on Earth would Jesus worry about a storm, and His disciples are naturally freaking. You should know the rest, but read it anyway.
Papa Francesco then proceeds to give a homily on something I've been trying to teach my Youth Ministry kids, and everybody who is willing to listen to me ramble, that there are two kinds of people. [Yes, yes. Another one of those lessons.] People who make decisions based in FEAR, and people who make decisions based in FAITH.
It's a great homily and I encourage you to read the whole thing here.
Addressing fear in these wacky times is certainly a needed lesson. I don't know if I'm afraid about what's going on right now, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried. I've got kids! I worry about SOMETHING practically all the time!
Our dear Pope asks with all sensitivity, however, "'Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?' Faith begins when we realise we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we founder: we need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars. Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies."
That's just beautiful imagery, and it is a reminder we all need right now.
Pope Francis went further, talking about the cost of following Jesus. "Embracing his cross means finding the courage to embrace all the hardships of the present time, abandoning for a moment our eagerness for power and possessions in order to make room for the creativity that only the Spirit is capable of inspiring. It means finding the courage to create spaces where everyone can recognize that they are called, and to allow new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity." Otherwise, it means "get doing..."
The service went on to include a wonderful time of Adoration, Prayers of the Faithful, and a special blessing to all those dealing with the restrictions and limitations and consequences related to the virus. Watching this, praying all this, subsequently watching or otherwise participating in a Mass, saying the Rosary, and ultimately being of a faithful and contrite heart grants a Plenary Indulgence per the Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary which you can find here.
Now that is cool! I think I'll try to record a video of myself teaching what that means. I taught it to my kids yesterday, and I did a fine job if I do say so myself. LOL.
Anyway, pray...have faith...watch a Mass...and get doing.
DJ | AMDG