Faith in the risen Christ strengthens our hope

Msgr. John McDermott, vicar general of the Diocese of Burlington, offered this weekly message of hope to diocesan staff. What are you most looking forward to doing when the quarantine and Stay Home-Stay Safe order is eased/lifted? For some it may be the ability to come back to the office each day to work, but I imagine for most of us it will be the ability to get together again with family and friends without the worry of maintaining a safe distance or the need to wear masks and gloves. If there is one thing that this time has taught us, as well as the rest of the state and country, we should never take the simple things for granted again. There have been far too many stories of people passing away without the comfort of family being by their side because of the coronavirus, and far too many instances of people only being able to meet via the internet or though a glass window or door. We are by nature social beings. This is lived out in family life, community life, work life and church life. Community and social interaction allows us to live full and joy-filled lives. So, it is essential that we keep supporting one another through prayer, regular communication and gestures of fellowship especially when we can’t be together physically.

Let’s never forget that during this Easter season, when we are celebrating Christ’s victory over sin and death that, it is our faith in the risen Christ that strengthens our hope and sustains us while apart. May St. Paul’s to the Romans words encourage us: What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? It is Christ [Jesus] who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?…No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Msgr. John McDermott, Vicar General