In his latest “From the Chapel” post, OSV publisher Scott Richert writes that “it has…
From the Chapel — June 16: The return of the King
“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.
Our Lord is in his tabernacle, and all is right with the world.
Well, at least the first part is true. Yesterday, June 15, Christ returned to the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at OSV, after three months’ absence. At 11 a.m., as he had done thousands of times before, Msgr. Owen Campion, our chaplain, celebrated Mass for the staff of OSV — for the three of us in attendance, and for all those who weren’t. We sat more than 6 feet apart, masked, while Monsignor celebrated without a server or a lector. He consecrated not only his own host and hosts for us, but also the host to be reserved in the tabernacle, which has been empty since March 23.
I have only been in the office a few times since I blew out the sanctuary lamp, but on those occasions, I hadn’t felt any pull toward the chapel. Every day there in the time-that-was, from June 2017, when I first came to OSV, until March of this year, was marked by a quick visit on arrival, Mass at 11, and another visit at the end of the day. But I hadn’t set foot in the chapel since March 23, because there are, in my experience, few things more desolate than an empty tabernacle. (“Godforsaken” is a common synonym for “desolate,” and in this case quite accurate.)
You know that feeling that hits you on Good Friday when you walk into your parish church and, out of habit, genuflect and then look up to see the door of the tabernacle open and nothing inside? There’s a reason for that. God isn’t in his tabernacle, and the world is groaning as it awaits its redemption.
Until today, I have been in no big rush to return to the office. We still have a long way to go before this pandemic is behind us, and my team is performing admirably well working from home. I’ve come to enjoy the flexibility of being able to schedule my daily runs around my meetings, spending more time with my family and writing these columns after supper.
But now, it feels as if there is a reason to return. Our Lord is in his tabernacle, and all is right in our little corner of the world.
Scott P. Richert is publisher for OSV.