What would St. Augustine have to say about freestyle rapping? It’s a remarkable talent that reveals more than just a rapper’s skills, like those showcased by the great Harry Mack. It can reveal how we are created in the image and likeness of God. And Augustine shows us how.
On World AIDS Day, let’s remember that COVID-19 is not the first pandemic of our lifetime. We can learn valuable lessons about our response to COVID in the months to come as we reflect on nearly 40 years of the AIDS epidemic to chart a better path forward.
I had helped to COVID-proof the school with the other faculty members. I had hustled my way through the first weeks teaching a new subject. I had experimented with masks to be sure my voice could be heard over New York City traffic. Suddenly, none of that mattered. I was thrust into something totally new. I no longer needed to wear a mask, but wrangle a group of thirteen-year-olds I could barely see through their tiny on-screen boxes. As soon as I finished my first online lesson, I complained to Jesus in prayer. And that prayer was raw and real. Find out happens when you start getting real with Jesus.
When a day trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountains came up this past weekend, some friends and I considered ways to enjoy the great outdoors and the explosion of fall colors in the Northeast. Surely, this was a place to practice my newfound parkour passion. Read what happens when I have to let go and let God.
It took two weeks of monotony and uncertainty to realize what I really relied on. And in my most recent quarantine, I experienced what millions around the world have been going through since March. And it’s something I pray we can all return to again, in person, to celebrate the ultimate celebration.
After six months of pandemic, it may be tempting to slack off in our diligence, but remember your neighbor and keep wearing a mask!
Eric Immel, SJ, writes: “I spent more time in my room these past nearly six months that I had the previous, say, four years combined. The same is true for the number of times I’ve washed my hands. I’ve high-fived less people in the past nearly six months than was typical for me in a day pre-COVID, and I cannot count the number of times I’ve wanted to yell at people for getting too close to me, which I don’t think I’d ever thought to do before in my life.” Eric takes us on journey of a small world that opens up to something larger than previously thought.
On a bitterly cold Thursday night in February of 2019, I was sitting on the ground hanging out with a group of folks experiencing homelessness down by the Chicago Art Institute. I spent most Thursdays this way, as chaplain to the student-run Labre Homeless ministry. Despite the bitter cold, we laughed a lot. After a particularly icy burst of wind rushed through, one of the men, named Wiz, looked at me and said “Gimme a scarf.” Jake Braithwaite, SJ, offers us a compelling parable about death and resurrection.
My Jesuit community engaged in COVID-19 protocols after Mass on March 16. No more all-community Masses. No more going to school for class. No more ministry. A world of masks and gloves and handwashing. That evening, a friend and I had a conversation thinking through ways we could try to make the most of the indefinite future that came with pandemic.
Sunday Mass is an obligation during normal times, but during the Covid-19 crisis, as Churches open up, we are faced with a decision.