Jennifer Wortman/Guest contributer

WARREN, PA I sit on my front porch, enjoying a gorgeous sunny day and I reflect on the fact that we have been living through isolation and quarantine in our diocese since March 17th. None of us could have ever imagined life without Mass, the sacraments or community for ten weeks. 

The Holy Spirit depicted in window in church in Antibes, France.
Dreamstime photo

We are pushed out of our comfort zones. We are challenged to be so many different persons to our family members. Many of us are lost, scared, isolated and worried. Many of us are happy to be home, peaceful and grateful for the pause.  

We are experiencing life as the early Christians must have experienced it. The joys and challenges, the waiting, the suffering, the dying to self and the rising. I have found myself, over the last ten weeks, completely in wonder and awe of these men and women whom Jesus called friends, the Apostles, his treasured gifts from his father. He loved them, prayed for them and left them the crucial task to build his church. With that task, he gave them the ultimate gift – the Holy Spirit.  

Think about using this time as we “go green” to stop in the red of the flames of the Spirit! Stop and reflect on what these courageous men and woman sacrificed and the persecution they endured so that we might have and enjoy all the blessings of this life.  

Place yourself in the dark and fear of the unknown that these apostles knew so well. Stop and reflect on our call as disciples of Christ; the peace we are given and the peace we are called to give. Remember that we are made to be community and that we have been lost without our communities. Stop and love; love one another and love Christ and his church.  

In recent weeks, our readings at Mass have been from the Gospel of John. Jesus described these courageous men and woman and spoke with incredible love for this community of believers that his father gave him and to whom Christ left the Spirit.  

Will we move forward with that same love for those who have guided us, prayed for us and supported us through this time? Will we read his Word, pray for his people and become his hands and feet as the disciples we are called to be? Will we appreciate and embrace the Mass and the sacrament of the Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic Christian life?  

The Apostles lives were forever changed by the experiences of their time and their relationship with Christ and each other. Allow this pandemic experience to forever change you to become the family member, friend, community member and Christian that you are called to be. Allow this pandemic to give you the courage of the early Christians, the conviction of Christ and his mission and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which is alive and moving through each of his believers. Veni, Sancte Spiritus. Come, Holy Spirit, come! 


- Jennifer Wortman is director of faith formation for the Warren County Catholic Community.  


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