What do you think about being forced to stay at home? A curse or a blessing?

In the Gospel passage John 3:7-15, Jesus speaks with a certain man called Nicodemus and Jesus invites him to be ‘born again’ in spirit and explains why this is necessary.

What on earth does that mean for me?

You see, Jesus invites this man to live his life in an entirely different manner than before. In a word, he invites him to a different perspective – to see and experience life though the eyes of God rather than through human eyes alone.

Nicodemus at first cannot understand – because he is looking at the world and his place in it solely in an earthly or worldly manner. He is searching for meaning in his life but he cannot find it. Jesus invites him to look at being born again in a spiritual way. Only then can Nicodemus understand the amazing gift that Jesus is offering him.

We too, like Nicodemus search for our place in life and for meaning. I can have power, money, fame and prestige, but if I don’t have meaning in my life – life itself will seem pointless and in a certain sense – hopeless.

When we don’t find meaning, we go to town and try to fill our lives with anything but the one thing we really want – meaning and a sense to life. We search everywhere for meaning and a sense to life without actually looking inside ourselves to find the answer in our hearts. We become depressed with life, question it’s meaning, become bitter, closed and loose hope in the future.

Does this description sound like your life at times?

One of the blessings from being in quarantine is this – you have time to take a look at, and sort out what really means a lot to you in your life and what you should let go of.

Maybe you’ve let a lot of bitterness, hopeless, or despair cloud your judgement and you see this pandemic as another reason for sadness and hopeless to set in.

Jesus invites you to use this time wisely and concretely to make a huge change in your life. Why not try it? What do you have to lose? You’re stuck at home anyways.

Quarantine – is it a blessing – or a curse? In the eyes of the world it is a curse. It disrupts my plans. You may be worried and lamenting the fact your plans for the spring and possibly summer are gone.

Yet, as a Christian, through a ‘spiritual lens’ Jesus invites me to look differently at the situation.

Why not use this time to work on your spiritual life? Do we really want to go back to normal? To the way we were living our lives?

Stressed, no real friends, issues with my family, running on the hamster wheel of trying to ‘make it’ quickly and easily via many means, like internet fame, easy money or a quick rise to power?

This quarantine can be a blessing from God to look inside myself and be born again – to look at the world in an entirely different way – through the eyes of God. And in doing so, I will see that this time is indeed a blessing given to me from God to be born again in the Holy Spirit.

Why not spoil yourself during this time? Spend this time on yourself and fix what needs to be fixed. Learn to laugh again, learn to love. If you need to sleep – sleep. If you need to get motivated – do what needs to be done. Learn that you’re loved by God and respond to that love. Work on yourself and listen to your spirit. You’re worth it.

Fr. Paul Patrick OMI, of Assumption Province is a priest at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Winnipeg. When he’s not celebrating Mass, the sacraments, he’s engaging youth and challenging altar servers. Besides that can find him playing hockey with the Flying Fathers Hockey Club or inspiring thousands on social media. Fr. Paul is a dynamic and creative evangelizer! 

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