I’ve been considering writing an article on “virtual community” and how these communities are often given short shrift because of the distance and limitations that they have. Even Pope Francis would caution in the past to not “live one’s life behind screens.”
Certainly there is some truth and wisdom to that. But that doesn’t mean that the communities that are formed there aren’t of some value! It also doesn’t mean that these communities aren’t communities! People gather together and interact with each other, and in that there is an exchange of ideas, feelings and dare I say, love. Consider the efforts one makes to choose to interact virtually. They could, in fact, do nothing at all under these shelter-in-place situations.
Yesterday, I joined Becky Eldredge’s virtual prayer community where they meditate on Mary. I was the only male in the group–to which I say–blessed are thou among women! It was the first time in some time that I felt deeply close to others in prayer and I’d add that it was the first time in quite some time that I felt fully engaged within a community of prayer.
Today’s readings focus on both the apostles picking a replacement for Judas and Jesus’ instructions in the gospel to love one another. Perhaps our call these days is in fact to creatively love others. How do these virtual ministries actually bring us into communities that creatively bring not only our love, but Christ’s love to others?
Take for example the fact that it’s really not wise to sing right now in communities that are able to gather in person. Well, virtually, choirs have gotten very creative and have brought great joy, prayer and dare I say, love to others during this time. Like this for example:
So today, love creatively…and know that it’s real.