Every time I walk into my bedroom my eyes seem to immediately fall on my homemade face mask which now hangs on the side of a cabinet from a hook. It's out of place, isn't normally there. It bothers me that I have to remember to take it with me every time I go to the store. I don't like wearing it and really hope it isn't "the new norm".
While on a run at a park I noticed several people walking and running by wearing latex gloves as well as a face mask.
I thought wow, the two ways we are most fearful of being exposed to COVID-19 are the two ways Jesus blesses His apostles in this Sunday's Gospel reading.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit..." John 20:21-22
Breath is such a personal, special thing. It is life. The sound of a sleeping baby breathing... Being present for the last breath of a loved one as they pass... Now it is something we fear being around, the breath of others.
Do you think it's coincidence that the way Jesus gives His apostles the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit is through His breath?
Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." John 20:26-27
One of our basic human needs it to be touched and to touch. Wiping tears off a loved one's cheek... Children climbing a jungle-gym or to the top of a slide... This too is now something we fear, touching anything or anyone.
Is it a coincidence that Jesus invites Thomas to touch His wounds so that he can believe?
I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in God-incidences, moments when He is revealing something to us or is wanting us to recognize His presence and believe. God is indeed with the people of the world during this pandemic. He is showing us how connected we truly are. Now we can see what a blessing it is to simply breathe amongst each other. What a blessing it is to be able to touch each other through hand shakes and hugs. For when we are aren't we breathing in the breath of God and touching the hand of God? I think I took these things for granted.