Our COVID-19 experience of exile offers people a chance to review and rebuild our lives, writes Redemptorist Father John Hill. Source: Majellan Magazine.
COVID-19 and government measures to prevent its spread have turned our lives upside down. Some people have lost their jobs, others are struggling to pay their bills, people living alone and residents in nursing homes are isolated and schools are closed.
We have experienced, and some of us are still experiencing, massive dislocation in our lives.
The Bible calls this experience “exile”. It means that we feel dislocated, isolated, and don’t belong — yet we are still living in our own land.
We experience a kind of crisis of faith. I don’t mean that only in a religious way.
But there is another crisis: we can’t have or do the things that gave us security and a feeling of wellbeing. I mean things like the continuous availability of consumer goods, the freedom to go out when and wherever we wanted, to socialise and be entertained.
There is also a crisis of faith in our institutions. Churches have lost credibility over the years, and now people are becoming disillusioned with government. We also have questions about the future.
Our COVID-19 experience of exile also offers us a chance to review and rebuild our lives. It can help us realise that our consumer society can’t really satisfy the deepest longings in our hearts. We can start to realise more deeply that people are more important than possessions. We will want to build our lives on relationships — to love and be loved by family, friends, and by God.
Exile (By John Hill CSsR, Majellan Magazine)