As early as 5:30 AM that morning, I got up, hurried with my morning chores and got myself ready because I never wanted to miss any bit of the Mass. This quarantine style of Mass with my Bishop on Pentecost 2020 was first of its kind in my life as a Christian and as compared to the past when I will follow a one week Pentecost Week program which usually ends with a big Pentecost Mass. My Bishop on TV with a multitude of Christians watching all over the world, tells me, “With God everything is possible”. I preferred the screen at the basement because it was the largest in our home and as usual I started following the Mass deeply as though I was in Church with no knowledge that my daughter was observing me and taking some snap shots with her cell phone.
After the Penitential Rite and the proclamation of the word, came the invocation of the Holy Spirit in a song by the singing minister. As I kneel listening keenly and reflecting on the lyrics of the song, I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit right in me. Then I prayed asking the Holy Spirit to also touch my family, friends and Christians all over the world who are having the same quarantine experience as I do and bring a powerful solution to the crisis brought upon human beings by the Corona Virus.
The Bishop proceeds with a very lively sermon filled with the spirit of Pentecost. He invites everyone to be open and receive the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit as of the first Pentecost for the renewal of the whole world. I was filled with awe as I sat listening to his heart searching sermon.
The beautiful ending of the Bishop’s sermon, “COME HOLY SPIRIT! COME HOLY SPIRIT! COME HOLY SPIRIT!”, was another spirit filled and touching moment that was like the Bishop just pulled the Holy Spirit out from heaven to earth and I felt His powerful presence in the room.
Then Came the moment of Spiritual Communion when I recited the prayer with passion, opening the door to let Him enter, “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come into him and will dine with him, and he with me”. Rev 3:20
During Announcements I decided to celebrate Pentecost with my Bishop in this way. His announcements were full of good news on how gradually the Churches are going to open their doors again for Christian worship as a community. Remember, one definition of the Church is “A Community of Christians” and not individual Christians in their homes.
Even Though Christians were not in Church physically, they were Spiritually as you can see our Bishop blessing us as he exits the physically empty Church. There’s a song that says, “One thing I ask of the Lord, one thing I long, to live in the house of God everyday of my life”. Yes, this longing eats up every true Christians at this moment of the Coronavirus pandemic when the Church’s doors are physically closed.
So long as the Spirit lives and moves and renews the face of the earth, so will Mother Earth continue to produce her fruits and take care of her up springs, even though she mourns and groans waiting for the right moment that she will open her mouth and swallow the ugly Corona virus, leaving no trace of it, “The earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon spewed out of his mouth”. (Rev. 12:16) As you can see, Seeds have sprouted on my quarantine backyard garden. They are growing and flourishing assurance of life and continuity.
Come to think of it, why have we to go through all this quarantine thing? The blame is all on the devilish COVID-19 pandemic. But, remember, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God”, not even the ugly Corona-virus for “… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us”(Rom. 8:35-37). Let’s keep trusting God.