Our Sunday Visitor publisher Scott Richert writes, "We hold Mass at 11 a.m. every day…
From the Chapel — March 23: Homeward bound
“From the Chapel” is a series of short, daily reflections on life and faith in a time of uncertainty. As people across the world cope with the effects of the coronavirus — including the social isolation necessary to combat its spread — these reflections remind us of the hope that lies at the heart of the Gospel.
Today, the light went out in the chapel.
At noon, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued an executive order requiring all nonessential businesses to close until April 7, and all employees who can work from home in essential businesses to do so. Hoosiers are not to leave their houses except to go to work, to get food and to seek medical care.
The senior leadership of OSV made the decision to remove all employees who remained on site for the duration of the order. Which meant that we could not leave Christ in the tabernacle unattended.
After the decision was made, I returned to the office to find that Msgr. Campion had come in to write a few columns for Our Sunday Visitor. I chose to view the violation of his self-imposed isolation as providence, and after I let him know that the building would be closing tomorrow, he and I went to the chapel to attend to Our Lord.
The solemn ceremony, which lasted only a few minutes, was made joyful by our reception of Christ in the Eucharist. But after Monsignor left the chapel and I walked past the open and empty tabernacle to extinguish the sanctuary candle, I had that sense of longing and of loss that one feels on Good Friday upon entering the church and realizing that the Real Presence is not present.
I blew out the candle and turned off the rest of the lights. With no flickering flame to bring light to my eyes, the darkness did not lift until I opened the door and stepped into the hall.
Christ will return to the tabernacle, and we will light the sanctuary candle again. Mass will be celebrated in the OSV chapel, and across the country, and in all of those parts of the world where this Lent has left the faithful longing for this foretaste and promise of their true home. We don’t know when, but God does.
For now, I’m homeward bound, to a different kind of foretaste and promise of our heavenly home, in the domestic church of my family. These reflections will continue from there until I can return to the chapel.
Scott P. Richert is publisher for OSV.