Leaders writings: Kevin Smith

OBSTACLES OR OPPORTUNITIES

Sadly we faithful are unable to attend Mass because of health concerns associated with the COVID19 Pandemic, we have become more isolated. “I really miss shaking people’s hand, I just can’t get used to it” said Tim, at CMFSYD gathering 23/03/2020. In no way should this infectious flu-like virus be played-down, but it is interesting that that up to 650,000 people die annually of respiratory diseases linked to flu [see WHO]. Social-isolation is now part of our language and our behaviours have changed dramatically. A sneeze can make you paranoid. People talk like they are experts in epidemiology, microbiology, immunology and public health. Panic buying is rife.

Our lives will never be the same. Similarly, an experience with Jesus alters our life forever. Three of us gathered to for Intentional Discipleship Study [Thresholds of Conversion: Seeking and Intentional Discipleship]. Part of what we considered in this, our 4th session of 6 sessions was:

  • What causes people to experience a spiritual awakening/conversion; and
  • Demands and challenges of true discipleship.

With every difficulty comes a choice of how to respond: With fear and anxiety or with and faith and hope. We can’t gather for Mass for a while, but we can call and connect with people. We cannot be part of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for a while at Mass but we can give of our time and energy. Importantly, opportunities abound to empower the young to mission activity. Most of us are Baby Boomers or Generation X [born 1946-1980]. A few of us, like my 92yo mother are the Greatest Generation [1901-1927] and some are part of the Silent Generation [1928-1945]. Few Millennials [1981-1996] or iGens [mid 90s – 2010s] are active in the life of the church. Their time is now.

The igens have been fully immersed in a high-tech, smart phone driven world all their life. Who could be more suited to help create a suitable platform (e.g. ZOOM conference call), where parishioners and their guests can log onto a suitable device (smart phone or iPad). Recommended social isolation practices to help control the spread of COVID19 cut right to the heart of fellowship – no more handshakes. Note the two sets of shaking hands in the CMFSYD logo. Let us make a positive response to the social isolation practices enforced upon us and build up our parish, community and world. Contact Reverend Father Kim Ha and let him know what role you can play.

Kevin Smith

BAppSci (Environmental Health)

Coordinator – Catholic Men’s Fellowship