The crisis facing the church is serious and real. Can we continue to be church in the model of the past? Can we afford to congregate as our ancestors did?
The novel coronavirus has exposed the church seriously and laid bare our weak links. The church without the Eucharist as the focal point of our gathering and worship is a bit lost, confused.
Our liturgy in preparation for the heavenly liturgy has left us with a narrow view. We are being challenged now to look at the bigger picture. How can we continue to be church when the buildings are in lockdown mode, or when people are afraid to congregate?
Someone said that we should be creative in our thinking of church. Yes, we should. How do we promote the domestic church as the most basic unit of the church with the high priests being the parents?
These, de facto leaders, can be a way of holding the body of Christ together until we are allowed to meet again in our congregations. It brings holiness to families. Are we even open to this idea? The parents that gather their children to pray can pontificate in the domestic church and break no laws.
Ways must be found to grow this sort of church without ordained ministers. The church is not in lockdown or restricted but liturgical worship is!
We question how long the church can stand together with these restrictions? People are getting used to lazing at home on Sundays and forget that it is the day of the Lord. For some, it is another day to sleep longer.
We see this when we were allowed to congregate with 50 people and we went to all sort of troubles to prepare for the reopening according to the guidelines. Many of our parishes did not reach the prescribed number.
Here was I thinking that our people were starving of the Eucharistic celebration. Maybe, I was wrong. But there are others longing to attend daily Mass and yet have no opportunity of doing so until the demise of the covid-19.
We have to cease the opportunity to strengthen family life, teach and practice prayer in Christian homes. Some are doing Bible studies with the family.
Good things are coming out of this pandemic in another way. That is heartwarming. Opportunities exist galore for the church to continue to witness to the gospel and worship, albeit at homes.
Authored by Bishop Frank Nubuasah SVD