Covid and the life of the Church: what lessons can be learned?

What lessons can we learn from the Covid Pandemic? : To answer this, I have chosen to speak to you about the reflections of Cardinal Mario Grech, in the interview given to the Civiltà Cattolica on October 23rd 2020.

We know, as we are living it, the period of pandemic forces the whole world to stop; for many, in lockdown, homes have become a place of refuge from contagion. The streets have been emptied. Churches too. The suspension of liturgical celebrations raises many questions about how Christians live their faith. 

With great freshness and in a slightly offbeat manner, Cardinal Grech emphasises how much this could be an opportunity for renewal. The Covid pandemic has brought to light that the life of the Church has not been interrupted, contrary to what some may have said, as if "the richness and variety of experiences that help us to contemplate the face of Christ" had been forgotten. 

It is undeniable that the Eucharist is "the source and summit of the whole Christian life" (Lumen Gentium 11). However, it is not the only possibility for the Christian to experience the Mystery and to meet the Lord Jesus. Paul VI observed this well when he wrote that in the Eucharist "the presence of Christ is "real" and not exclusively, as if others were not "real"." 

For to encounter Jesus is to commit oneself to his Word. In this sense, didn't the doctors and nurses who risked their lives to stay close to the sick transform hospital wards into "cathedrals"? The breaking of the Eucharistic bread cannot be done without breaking bread with those who do not have it. This is diakonia. It is a constitutive dimension of the being of the Church and its mission. A meaningful experience of service is a fundamental way of evangelisation in the present era of change. Cardinal Grech also speaks of a new ecclesiology emerging from the forced experience of being in lockdown: living the Church within our families. "If the domestic Church fails, the Church cannot exist. If there is no domestic Church, the Church has no future! The domestic church is the key that opens up horizons of hope!" 

With this virus that knows no boundaries, we are therefore called to a new understanding of contemporary society to discern a new vision of the Church in order to live in a more fraternal way and build a world that is more beautiful, more just and more worthy of humanity.