For most of us
in this time of the pandemic,
there seems to be no way for us
to avail of the Eucharist.
By force of circumstance
we’ve been keeping our distances
from the world and from one another
these past weeks.
It has been the necessary
and responsible thing to do.
But there have been many
some constituting deep losses,
others mere inconveniences.
For the most part,
we’re still unaccustomed to all this disruption.
Some of us may even resent it.
Because of the prescribed social distancing,
not only have Catholic churches suspended
but also, we are now unable
to visit the Blessed Sacrament.
Of course churches have resorted to every sort of creative devices:
Live streaming of daily
and especially Sunday Masses,
online Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament,
Bible studies and faith sharing over Zoom,
and many others.
Interestingly, Catholics are also talking
about a renewed appreciation
for the sacraments, for community worship–
including, believe it or not, the Sunday Mass!–
and of course, for the Real Presence of Jesus
in the Blessed Sacrament.
But some of us feel discouraged
because of what we have to miss.
Those who have a deep appreciation
for the sense of intimacy with the Lord
whenever we visit him in the Blessed Sacrament
and especially when we receive him
at Holy Communion
cannot help but feel deprived.
Much as we would like to,
without the Eucharist,
we don’t seem to feel as close to the Lord.
For us and those who miss the Eucharist
and the sacraments,
here’s a reassuring and consoling thought:
Remember, our Lord allowed the separation
between him and the Father
precisely so that absolutely nothing
could separate us from him and from God–
not sin, not even death.
not even this pandemic,
and for that matter,
not even the cancellation of public Masses.
The Eucharist at this time of the pandemic
challenges us anew to the leap of faith
that our Lord asked of his disciples
at the Last Supper:
No physical distance can ever separate us
from the Lord.
He is near–
even without physical proximity
in whatever form.