UPDATE: THURSDAY, APRIL 16: DAY 35 SINCE CHURCHES HAVE BEEN CLOSED

Some good news to report:  Beginning this Sunday and each Sunday during the time the churches are closed, we will stream live our 11am Mass from St. Anne Church at 11am.  It will be livestreamed on our parish Facebook page and it will be linked to the website via YouTube after the Mass. So, it will be on the website taped delayed but on our St. Anne Parish Facebook page live.  Thanks to Joel McAuliffe, a regular 11am Mass attendee, we are able to do this. Be sure to watch this weekend.  

Also, Fr. Dennis and I are praying the rosary inside St. Anne Church on Wednesdays at 2pm.  If you want to join us from home please feel welcome to do so. The rosary is offered for an end to the Coronavirus, for the health and safety of first responders and healthcare workers, and for the parishioners of our parish.  It will not be streamed or taped but everyone could know we are praying this together at the same time. Again, that is on Wednesdays at 2pm during this crisis.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

 

Reflection:

Easter Sunday came and went without much fanfare other than the commemoration of the most significant event to ever happen in human history. 

After celebrating a private Easter Mass for parishioners, I spent some time reflecting on Easter myself.  Later, on Easter night, I turned the TV on and was surprised to see one of the most influential and well recognized movies that was ever made:  The Wizard of OZ.  

Watching the Wizard of OZ is mandatory viewing for those of us raised in Kansas.  So, I watched the movie for probably the 100th time in my life. 

Essentially the movie is about a strange dream that Dorothy has.  But that dream will have a major impact on her life when she awakens.   Allow me to apply some of the symbolism to our current situation with the coronavirus.  The movie may have been made in 1939 but it has some level of application in 2020.

The movie opens up with a tornado ripping through Kansas.  (I have seen a few of those.) Dorothy (Judy Garland) has been struggling in life during the Great Depression and was going to run away from home.  In the midst of the tornado she falls asleep and has a strange dream. Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are blown away to a magical land called OZ. 

As she travels in the Land of Oz, she learns much about herself and others.  When Dorothy’s dream ends, she has a brightened view of the world, herself and others.  She emerges from this dream a renewed person with a different outlook.

What does this have to do with us in the midst of this pandemic?  In a way we are living in a strange dream ourselves right now. It is like we fell asleep in mid-March and are living in this strange dream.  We just want to all go home and get back to the life we had.  

It all seems so surreal in this land of the free.  Our movement is restricted, the virus hovers around us, and we battle to keep our wits about us.  From where we were in February, this is a strange dream indeed. That wicked Witch of the West---COVID-19--- hovers over us.  In the movie, water destroys the wicked witch. In our dream, it will be a vaccine that destroys the virus.

When Dorothy awakens from her dream, she is much more energized, much more optimistic, and much more appreciative of those around her.  Her life was the same in Kansas, but she saw those things in life differently. So, what will have changed about us when we awaken from this coronavirus dream? 

Perhaps we should use this opportunity to reflect on what is most important for us in life.  Maybe, when we awaken and get to the other side of the rainbow and away from this virus, we will be changed for the better too.  Maybe we have learned something about ourselves, our spouse, our neighbors or someone else. 

As we get closer to “waking up” and get beyond the coronavirus, let us reflect on this strange dream and tornado called COVID-19.  But let us pull something positive out of this tragedy. Let us find something to renew us in a positive way. Then maybe watching the Wizard of OZ will inspire us to something new--- just like it did for Dorothy.  That would indeed be allowing God’s grace to emerge----from this terrible dream.

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