Tuesday, April 6
I have some good news to share! The province has opened up vaccines for faith leaders – so Fr. Geoff, the deacons elect and I all were able to get our vaccines last week!
For myself I have to say getting my vaccine in Holy Week was somewhat frightening (what if I had suffered from horrible side effects and couldn’t make it to the services?!), the pinch of the needle, and the tenderness it left afterwards was a little painful but most of all the whole experience was a whole lot exciting. And afterwards I shared the news with joy with friends and family.
In some ways this seemed to mark a new way forward for me. Although I will continue to wear a mask, and social distances, and be vigilant, there is a comfort that comes with the belief that my health might be a little bit stronger, my life a little bit more protected because of it.
Like an evangelist – I want everyone to have this opportunity and know this feeling of security and peace of mind.
That said I am also very aware that the vaccine is not our saviour. The vaccine will help our world but it will not save our world. It will not transform our world into a new way of being, or provide us new ways to think and act in our world. The joy of the vaccine is that once we have it we will be able to return to our old ways and live as we had before.
If I hold out any hope for change – it is because I pray that as we reflect on our time of isolation and suffering we may be given us some insights into the most vulnerable amongst us and aim to change our ways to be more considerate and mindful of them. That said, having seen how quickly hero pay was rescinded I am not as hopeful as I would like to be.
In contrast the last week we went through together as the church did change the world, it did transform our world into a new way of being, and provided us with new ways to think and act in our world.
Holy week, I find, when done right, is like the vaccine. It is a little bit frightening, and a little bit painful – as it causes us to reflect existentially on how quickly the disciples ran in fear and were willing to deny their Lord. It forces us to face our own sin and fear and also the sad but timeless reality of the violent disposition of human nature. But ultimately it is a whole lot exciting and joy filled.
And that is because the Easter Story does not end with the cross but with the empty tomb. When we get to the end of the story we find that there is new life and new hope!
We may go back to our old ways after Easter – like the disciples return to fishing – but God is giving us something more than we can ask or imagine in the resurrection. It is a new kind of spiritual hope and faith that ensures us everlasting health and peace of mind. At the empty tomb death was defeated – not just until the next new superbug arrives – but forever.
The joy of Easter is that it provides us an utterly fresh and new way of thinking. It leads us to a greater sense of love, and to the hope to which we are called.
I do pray that all of you will one day soon be able to join me in the joy of being vaccinated. But more than that I pray that you join me in the joy of being able to proclaim the best Good News of all – The Lord is Risen, The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light, look favourably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery. By the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation. Let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen