To say that we are living in unprecedented times would be an understatement. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic we have been forced to live differently. We now wear masks everywhere. We physically distance and wash our hands more frequently than the most skilled surgeons.
In our churches we sit far away from one another. The beautiful liturgical music is not currently part of the Mass. None of us have received the precious blood for months; and we sanitize our churches more frequently than we cleanse our souls in the confessional.
While none of this is normal, we deem it as such; calling it our “new normal” and giving in to the idea that this is now our permanent way of life.
To accept this as our “new normal” is to accept that this is the way we will continue to live post-pandemic. I do not accept this as my “new normal” and neither should you.
While all of these steps are definitely necessary to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, we must remind ourselves these steps are merely temporary. This is not our new normal and should never be accepted as such.
This is merely what I like to call our “temporary normal.” While this “temporary normal” has definitely changed the way we live and worship, it is not permanent. These guidelines laid out for us by the health professionals will not last forever. This will never be my new way of living and I encourage you to reject it as yours.
We are a social people. We need community and we need interaction and connectivity with one another. I yearn for the day when I can shake your hand, give you peace, receive the Precious Blood and hug my family and friends without worrying about their health.
Deacon Derrick Barnes serves at St. Margaret Mary Church.