We have come to the end of our liturgical year for 2019/2020, with the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King this weekend. The season of Advent begins on 29 November 2020, with the new liturgical year and after four Sundays of Advent, we will be celebrating Christmas.
Looking back on these past nine months, I feel very sad and disheartened, as most of our scheduled activities and events were disrupted due to COVID-19. Over the months, we were deprived of celebrating the Sacraments and involvement in Church formations and activities. I believe this year will pass by and leave us with a lot of bitter-sweet memories.
This new normal way of life, wherein we have to ensure adherence to strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in everything we do, will go on until scientists and researchers find a vaccine for the virus. In fact, a few countries have predicted that a vaccine will be made available by the end of the year or early next year. We just have to wait patiently.
Initially, our Parish had planned quite a number of formations, activities and events for this year in line with our Parish’s Vision – “Committing Ourselves to New Evangelisation.” Sadly, everything got stalled due to the pandemic, and I guess that it has left a negative impact on our spiritual growth, as well as our physical, financial and emotional well-being.
We are still living in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic and life has become uncertain in many ways. However, we will continue to reflect on the same Parish Vision during the season of Advent even though we have journeyed with this vision for the past three years. The Parish Council members will look into various spiritual aspects of our Parishioners, especially on formations, renewal of our family life and providing opportunity for the youth to encounter Christ. As we continue in the same direction of “New Evangelisation”, we hope Parishioners will bring the essential elements and values of the Church into their own lives. Let’s be aware of our commitment to convey the joy of the Good News during this time of trials, and at the same time, bring hope to our faith, and light into our lives.
Many of our Parishioners have enquired as to how this pandemic will affect the Church in the future. We truly cannot predict the enforcement of restrictions, but we need to remain hopeful and vigilant, preparing for the reopening of our Church doors, hopefully before Christmas. We have to keep our momentum going. I believe that as Advent approaches, we should keep our focus on the themes of each week – HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE – and that will lead us with confidence and conviction towards Christmas. When we do that, we may be able to experience a new birth, new spirit, and a renewed spiritual life, family life and community life, as well. We should not lose our enthusiasm, and instead, we should continue to pray for the courage to grow and glow in the spirit. Let’s continue to pray the Rosary, asking Our Mother Mary, with whom God prepared the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ, to intercede for us and for our Church.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy