Here I find myself in my home. Again. Many days in a row and wondering when this pandemic will end. When will I be able to enjoy hearing the laughter and chatter from having friends and family over for BBQs again? When will I smell theatre popcorn and have a wonderful date night out at the movies again? When can I visit my Granny at the care home again as we are all definitely missing our visits? When can we come to Mass again and celebrate in person as the family of God? I see all of these activities (and more) as opportunities to naturally experience joy in one way or another. And these activities are not possible right now for the most part.
But Holy Scripture tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 3:10). I definitely need more strength right now so this poses a challenge to me. It does not say that the joy of the Lord is to be our strength unless it’s a pandemic and then this does not apply. No. There are no limits on finding joy – even in this odd time and space. When I reflect on this past while, although it has had its challenges, the joy of the Lord has been my strength in many ways! I had such joy watching my ten year old settle in to watch each part of the Easter Triduum this past Easter and act like the priests were super stars. There had been joy in baking buns for the first time in my life. There has been joy in tackling those ‘back burner’ house projects that have been on a to-do list for a long time. There has been joy in more regular family prayer and discussion of the sacraments that we desperately miss. We have become the ‘domestic church’ in a new way. I challenge you to find and experience joy as well at this time.