Written By: Marco Sifoni
“Take me out to the ball game….take me out with the crowd….”
All of us by now have experienced and continue to experience the realities of quarantine and social distancing due to our current situation and fears of this virus that has spread throughout the world. All of our beloved sports, whether amateur or professional, have been postponed or cancelled. Today would have marked Major League Baseball’s Opening Day for the 2020 season. As a Philadelphia Phillies “Phan”, I was surely looking forward to how my favorite team can get back on track with Bryce Harper having a full year under his belt in a Phillies uniform and bringing in veteran Coach Joe Girardi to be our skipper. Even the opportunity to physically attend masses in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been cancelled. Surely, it is sad that we cannot turn to usual things, such as attending mass/church services and watching/playing sports, to be our outlet during this time of need but, we need to look at the positives.
From my personal experience as a regular church goer, this past weekend felt very weird and out of nature for myself and my family as we sat inside of our own house and watched a live stream of last Sunday’s mass on our laptop. I caught myself tearing up at the fact that: 1) It was the first time in my life that I was not able to physically attend mass and receive Holy communion to fulfill my faith obligations and 2) I realized how much I take for granted in my life. Last Sunday’s reading, John 9: 1-41, shares the story of Jesus’ encounter with the blind man where he was blind but now he is able to see.
Last Sunday’s reading is very pertinent today. One verse that stuck with me in this Gospel is Verse 3: “Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him”. Just like God worked through the blind man in order for everyone else to see, He is working through this crisis right now.
I am sure all of us had things we were looking forward to but, sometimes our lives are disrupted. Sometimes these disruptions can become positives. Just as we must adjust our daily routines, we must change our mindset to look at the positives that can come out of this situation and open our hearts to see God. Maybe this is God’s way of restoring balance in the world and in our lives. The canals of Venice, Italy are clearer than ever with fish, Los Angeles gas emissions are significantly down, and we have but no choice but to spend more time with our families .
As we reminisce what could have been today, a nice afternoon in a ballpark eating “peanuts and cracker jacks”, let’s focus on what we currently have today. Be grateful for the life you have been blessed with. Be grateful for the many skills and talents that God has given you. Be grateful for the little things in your life that you may take for granted on a daily basis such as: your five senses, running water, fresh air, a sunny day, a house over your head, good health, the ability to attend mass, the ability to receive Holy Communion, the ability to play/watch the sport we love, technology, etc. Let us not be blind to all of our blessings and the presence of God!
What are you called to see through this situation?