This blog post was written for Faith Connections “Theology on Tap” follow up a year after the Theology on Tap on the same topic in May 2020
A year can seem like such a short time, especially when we are past it. As we reached the one year mark of our pandemic, the global community marked a year of struggle to get a handle on our shared COVID-19 realities, and a year of ever changing precautions as new variants began to emerge. We have marked the year with deaths associated with the virus. We have marked the year with hope as we have seen the virus begin to come under control through tough restrictions and the distribution of vaccines. We also saw during this year the publication of the encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti” by Pope Francis, as a reflection and instruction on how we are called as a human community to reshape our world and the systems of our world by refocusing on our gaze upon the gift of humanity, to not just see ourselves as neighbours, but as brothers and sisters to one another, which gives us a whole new perspective on how we are to be neighbour to one another. The Good Samaritan, as outlined “Fratelli Tutti” is the parable for us today.
This year has invited us to think and re-think about who we are, whose we are, and how we are with one another, yet, the world is still wounded, fractured by not only the virus and variants, but also by our temptation towards apathy to one another whether between nations reigniting conflict, or apathy towards our neighbour on our streets, with more falling victim through as social nets and networks continue to be stretched thin.
A year has past, and things will change and return to normal. As we have read at different times this year, “should things return to normal”? What is the opportunity for us to be a better neighbour as we recover from this pandemic? It is up to US to bring hope in everyday opportunities and make a “new normal”, a better normal for all of humanity, inspired by faith and the example of Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
Fr. Santo Arrigo C.Ss.R.
Coordinator of Ignite Young Adult Ministry