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When will COVID end? Paving the way for life after the pandemic | Love Digest

Julian Paparella

Thursday, January 27, 2022

When will COVID finally end? We are getting tired of the question! How about phrasing it differently: What kind of world do we want in the wake of COVID?
What kind of life do we want after COVID? What kind of relationships do we want to cultivate? What kind of social life to we want to rekindle? What kind of society do we dream of? What kind of Church do we aspire to be?
Are we itching to go back to things as they were, or do we desire a better world – a new springtime for humanity? How about a world that is more just, more human, more united, and more loving? How about a world of greater fraternity and deeper compassion? What if the experience of suffering together through this global pandemic made us more attentive to one another’s needs and vulnerabilities? What if it helped us to see our fellow human beings as brothers and sisters, even if they live on the other side of the planet?
In the heat of the pandemic, it can be easy to distance ourselves from one another, to ostracize people who disagree with us, and to be caught up in our own problems while ignoring those of others. Now is the time to dream, plan, and set in motion the kind of life and the kind of world that we want as humanity gets up and takes a new step forward. As we look forward to the day when COVID is no longer the daily headline news story, we can already set our sights on the difference each one of us can make in contributing to the kind of world we want to see. Today is the time for actively sowing the seeds of tomorrow, paving the way for a future that is even brighter than it was before COVID.
While the virus threatens our physical health, we must also think of our mental, spiritual, and relational health. Isolation, loneliness, not going to Church, being separated from our loved ones – all of this wears on the quality of our relationships, on our sense of fulfillment, and on the health of our hearts, minds, and souls.
Now is the time to build bridges. Now is the time to respect and reach out to one another amidst our many differences and difficulties. Now is the time to uphold the dignity of every human person, not denigrating those who feel or think differently than we do. Now is the time to undo the knots of injustice. Now is the time to unearth what is best in us as human beings – our capacity for hope, resilience, perseverance, and love, and our desire for a better world.
Do our politics, economy, and media reflect these ideals that strengthen our unity and make the human spirit soar? We may feel helpless, but the future of our world is in our hands. The choices we make on a daily basis craft the kind of humanity in which we live. What kind of society, Church, and lives will we build in the wake of the pandemic? What is your unique contribution to the world our hearts yearn for?
May God enlighten and lead us as we pave the way for the springtime that will come after this long winter of COVID.
Julian would be happy to hear from you, with any questions, insights, or suggestions you may have regarding this blog series. He can be reached at [email protected].

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