What shall we do with all the free time and no Masses on Sundays for two weeks? This might be the thought running through your head or you might be sitting back and relaxing. Hopefully you’re not bored out-of-your mind and doing whatever you can to stay busy. Regardless of what you are feeling right now, I am some thoughts that would help you use this time to grow spiritually.
First of all, not everything is cancelled. I still have three primary ways in which I hope to stay in touch with all of you. The Gospel of Matthew series that I have been running on Thursdays continues but only online. If you are interested in joining the livestream, you will need to download the podbean app and subscribe to the podcast “Catholic Chat with Fr. Cody.'” The livestream allows you to text questions to me and I can answer them in real time. You can also call in, but its a little more complicated. The other option is to wait for the episode to be uploaded. I usually get it uploaded about 2-4 hours after the livestream. The livestream starts at 7 pm on Thursdays.
Besides not being able to celebrate Mass with all of you on Sundays and weekdays, I am also disappointed that I cannot complete by homily series on the 7 Mansions by St. Theresa of Avila. As I thought more about my disappointment over this change, I realized the new opportunity that comes with change. On the podcast, Catholic Chat with Fr. Cody (catholicchat.podbean.com) I will be posting the subject matter of what I would have preached on Sunday. As I was thinking more about this option and the new options I have, I had a new idea. I am going to post two recordings. The first will be the explanation of the next mansion of the series. The second will be an explanation of the readings for that Sunday. The Sunday readings of Lent are incredibly deep and complicated, so now I have the opportunity to provide you with both. I am also going to post daily reflection based on the readings to our website and facebook page.
The advantage of our techno savvy world is that the internet is currently flooded with many resources and ways that you can continue to develop your faith while in shutdown mode. We subscribe to the program Formed, which has many videos, books, and audio series for your entertainment. Bishop Vetter is livestreaming the Masses he is celebrating. These Masses are at 11 am Monday through Friday, 5 pm on Saturday, and 11 am on Sunday. You can find the livestream at diocesehelena.org.
Don’t waste your Sundays! Even though we cannot celebrate Mass together on Sunday that doesn’t dispense the Lord’s Day. We still have the obligation to treat Sunday with respect and keep it holy. Some of the ways in which you can continue to keep the spirit of Sunday alive in your hearts is to pray over the readings from Sunday. If you are having trouble finding them, the Bishop’s have a calendar of readings on the website usccb.org. You can also find the prayers for the Mass and pray over them. This practice would enrich your experience of the Mass.
Finally, the church is still considered open. If you would like to come and pray, ring the doorbell at either of the office entrances and I will come and open the church so you can pray. I am going to try to keep sanitizer wipes available so that you can sanitize your seat and area if you wish. On Sunday from 1-5 pm I am going to open the church for anyone who would like their confession heard. Just because we are not living in a normal way, doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of the time we have.
If you need help with any of the above ideas or have questions or needs, you can email me at email@example.com. Know that you are in my prayers during this time. Please pray for those who are sick and especially those who are caring for the sick, infirm, and elderly. The world needs our prayers right now.