Create Community Online (Sixth Easter)

Jesus said, “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you.”  (John 15: 11 – 13)

I’m grateful the pandemic didn’t happen 10 years ago – before the ability to meet virtually was widespread. While I had already been working remotely for many years, it made staying in touch with loved ones easier – and for the first time, I created new relationships solely online. One of them was with a spiritual director. Having this new friend guide me in my spiritual journey, especially through the COVID years like we had, helped me enormously to recognise God’s presence and action in my life and discern how to respond.

She and I often talked about how much we missed Mass, but I also shared with her my disappointment in my neighbourhood parish – its lacklustre spirit, problem priests, and comfortable congregation. I told her I stayed there to try to make it better. “You deserve to be fed too,” she said, and together we prayed for that. Very quickly, I found pockets of people all over the country – a Tuesday evening prayer group, a Sunday Liturgy of the Word – to connect with via Zoom. These new faith communities nourished me spiritually in ways I didn’t realise I needed. Even now, since things have returned to “normal”, we still meet online and share from time to time – and my cup is more full than it used to be when it comes to loving one another.

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