MAY 8, 2020
"WITH GREAT JOY!"
Christians & Coronavirus:
Staying Connected in Christ
THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY
WELCOMED YOU WITH GREAT JOY
“The Christian Community welcomes you with great joy. In its name I claim you for Christ our Savior by the sign of his cross.”-Rite of Baptism For Children.
Like the majority of Catholics who were baptized as infants, these words were spoken over me 60 years ago on May 8, 1960. The pastor of Saint Andrew Church at that time was Fr. Otto Herman. While speaking these words and using his thumb in sacred gesture, Fr. Herman traced the cross on my forehead. This was the very first time the sign of the cross was traced on my being. And since then, I have traced this sign on my body every time I would begin and end a prayer, when an emergency vehicle is responding to someone in distress, when entering the
church, and countless other times.
The outward sign of the cross is part of who we are as Catholics. But so is the Christian Community who long ago welcomed me into the faith with great joy. And over the years, I have seen first hand the Christian Community of Saint Andrew and our welcoming ethos...which we are missing dearly due to the suspension of Mass. The support, or better said, the communion of who we are in Christ, is more heavy with meaning in this time of separation. It is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. And the absence of gathering together as a people of faith for Sunday Mass has made me yearn for the day we can again gather in praise of our God.
Today it was announced that public suspension of Mass will end and we will again gather on Monday, May 25!
We will gather as a Christian Community welcoming each other (at a distance) with great joy in Word and Sacrament. We will again experience who we are in Christ, in communion with God and each other. And hopefully with the suspension of Mass we will gather like it is the first time...with new excitement, ardor and zeal.
I look forward to seeing everyone soon. And be assured that the words once spoken over me in baptism I will gladly exclaim when we meet, “The Christian Community welcomes you with great joy!”
Your Brother in Christ,