February brought us ice, snow, and spring all in one week. The NASA Rover named “Percey” landed on Mars and the distribution of the COVID 19 vaccine in Holland started very slowly. The lockdown restrictions will most likely last throughout the month of March.
The name “Percey” is short for perseverance. Not only did it take many years of perseverance to finally put a spacecraft on the Red Planet, but also during this corona Lenten period, we are asked to persevere to combat the crisis.
Sacrifices are asked from us, and the hoped-for result of our dedication and commitment is the reward of a better quality of life and greater freedom. This makes Lent 2021 an incredibly unique and personal spiritual journey. Within the context of the pandemic and the isolation that limited active participation in society brings, we must make our own creative and sustaining choices for getting through this dry desert period. Without the “normal” support of a large physically present worshipping community and without the joy of looking forward to an uplifting Holy Week and Eastertide, we are left to find our own ways to stay hopeful, faithful, and loving.
Even though ‘out of sight’ may seem like ‘out of mind’, the many ways that people reach out on the internet to become a neighbour to a person in need, continue to be a sign of community life. All the wonderful people who help us to persevere in these difficult days are a true sign of Easter and help us to carry our crosses.
Lent this year is not so much about Fasting, we have done that long enough. During this pandemic, it is more about the two other Pillars of Lent – Prayer and Alms giving. In other words, it is about Ora et Labora (Pray & Work), to get each other through the crisis and on the way to more and new life at Easter.
May our good Lord reward you for the good you do in silence.