By Kaelanne Jordan
Many families, Archbishop Jason Gordon observed, are now “reconnecting” in prayer around virtual Masses daily which has been “simply amazing.” He now hopes when the Churches reopen, families will enter into a “real communion”. Living by faith is the real “gift” from this COVID-19 experience
“…if we learn the lesson well of COVID-19, we can’t go back to how we were before, our lukewarmness, our lackadaisical, our not really understanding who God is. We can’t go back there,” Archbishop Gordon told Catholic Media Services Limited’s (CAMSEL) Renee Smith during an Ask the Archbishop live chat on Instagram, Wednesday (April 22).
He told Smith he noticed many persons chose to do “plenty foolishness” during this time but he has also interacted with many young persons who have been making some “really wonderful choices” of entering deeper and deeper into what God is asking of them in their lives. “And that’s the most amazing thing. God has a plan in your life and that plan is the most amazing thing that will ever happen to you. And if you live that plan, that will be more adventure than any adventure you can hope to have. And to make yourself available to living that plan is really what this stage of your life is all about,” he told viewers.
The interactive live session saw viewers posing questions to which the Archbishop responded in real time. One viewer shared that the lockdown has provided them the opportunity to pray more. “That’s brilliant,” the Archbishop responded. He then challenged faithful to begin their morning and evening with Christian meditation, a “most amazing experience” of cooling and relaxing the mind and body during the lockdown.
“Try it and see the difference in your day from just doing that…. The real energy is when you see you start connecting with God. You have nowhere to go; you have all day to go nowhere. Go somewhere—go to the most amazing adventure there is. The most adventure is the inner adventure when you find God in the centre and core of your being and you experience that connection with the divine inside. What then happens is it explodes to everything else outside,” he explained.
The live session also discussed the broadcast of priests who celebrated Mass virtually during the Easter Triduum Masses and Services at their respective parishes. Commenting on this, the Archbishop explained that he felt faithful, and clergy needed to feel “united” with each other during the Triduum, even virtually.
On the issue of connecting virtually, Archbishop Gordon shared on his Zoom meeting on an Emotional Intelligence seminar he had with his brother priests on Wednesday. The importance of the session was to guide clergy on leading the Church during a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) time.
“You have to have emotional intelligence because everybody is going to be in a state, and you don’t want to have everybody in a state. You want to really have everybody settled and contained and working together.
He continued, “And so the whole seminar was on…this new COVID thing and the big decisions I had to make, and how did I make them, who did I involve, how did I manage to listen to all the voices and still hear my own voice and God’s voice and still lead the Church in a way that was clear without ambiguity, but while being very open and very flexible to listen to what God wanted,” he explained.
When asked to provide an update on the ‘Donate a device’ campaign for Catholic students, the Archbishop revealed that thus far, he has received a “promise” of 60 to 70 electronic devices. He however said the challenge now is coordinating the logistics in collecting these devices.
The live Instagram chat concluded with the Archbishop inviting viewers to Christian meditation and reflection of the “great moments” of the day.