WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — What is known as the busiest weekend for Christian churches across the world, now, all its pews sitting vacant.
“While we’re forced to stay away from each other physically, it is a time for the Church, the domestic family, to really rise up.
“Church isn’t the building, as much as we love the buildings. I love our Cathedral here in Wheeling and many other churches around here. They are beautiful places of prayer. But church really means the people, the assembly; people gathered together by the Lord. And, thatBishop Mark Brennan, Wheeling-Charleston Diocese
is true in the family, the smallest social unity in the church.”
These holy spaces now found in your own home, together reading passages of Scripture.
The Bishop likened this isolation to the history of Christianity in Japan, saying Japanese families successfully preserved the faith in secret under strenuous persecution.
“They kept up their faith for 200 years. Then when Japan opened up in the 19th Century again, people thought, there were Christians here!Bishop Mark Brennan, Wheeling-Charleston Diocese
“They had maintained it for 200 years in the home; in the family. We can do that for a much shorter period of time.”
Certain things cannot be replaced, like the sacrament of confession, which must be done in person.
But in loving thy neighbor by staying home, it points many to a greater need being satisfied in an unprecedented way.
“Our faith is in Jesus Christ who is risen from the dead, and he’s accessible to us through prayer, through the life of charity and good works, caring for one another. All of this is the way in which the Lord relates to us and comes into our lives.
“We’re deprived of the sacraments at this time, but we’re not deprived of the Lord’s grace and mercy.”Bishop Mark Brennan, Wheeling-Charleston Diocese
To Christians, Easter is death overcome. In this great victory, if God can conquer the grave, Coronavirus becomes less daunting to those who look to the cross.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Anyone, whatever you’re facing, cast your cares on Him, because He cares for you. He’ll take care of you.I Peter 5:7, Bishop Brennan
In a mere three days, this is where Christians say their faith is born.
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.1 Corinthians 15:14
So, Good Friday we mourn a loss, extending to those who have been taken from this virus. But on Sunday, Christians rejoice, saying death has no sting.
Easter I think reminds us of this great victory, which isn’t just Christ, but is for us too. For us too.Bishop Mark Brennan, Wheeling-Charleston Diocese