Be at peace with 2020

My dear friends in Christ,

Welcome  to the Bishop’s Blog!We are hardly off to a roaring start! In some ways it seems like ‘so near and yet so far . . .’. Schools are of particular concern. What will be the lasting effect on our young ones? Whilst we struggle to manage the pandemic itself one aspect that we do have more control of is how we individually respond to our circumstances. I’ve heard of the media inviting people to ‘write a letter’ to 2021, expressing their hopes. What may also be a worthwhile exercise is to work at some sort of reconciliation with the past year, 2020. It will go down in global history as a BAD year, obviously, but it risks doing us damage twice, once as we passed through it, and a second time as we struggle with its memory. That could be with us for the rest of our lives.So, it robbed us of our plans, our loved ones, those who died and those we could not visit or hug. It robbed us of our health, our education and our businesses. It robbed us of our freedom, our peace of mind, our jobs. Tragically, it robbed us of Holy Mass, worship, and of the freedom to live our Sacramental Faith. We could probably say much more as we look back on a year we never saw coming, an experience we never want again, and something that hasn’t finished with us yet.

Even though all this is true, I sense a need for us to try and be at peace with 2020, even with the harm done, otherwise that year becomes like a Corona-virus itself, infecting and spreading its poison into the rest of our days.

One thing it did not rob us of is our belief that Our Lord has been with us every step of the way, every moment of every day. We have been given opportunity to know what is most important. We have seen what we had previously taken so much for granted. We have come to know that the best things in life can never be taken as convenient.At this start of a new year let us try to be at peace with 2020 despite the harm it has done. Let us lay it to rest, with the bad and the good that we found in it.

With my blessing on you all as we progress into 2021, especially those of you who feel most fragile.

+Paul

Paul Swarbrick 

Bishop of Lancaster