“You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.” For weeks now I’ve been humming those words from a 70s hit by the Canadian singer Joni Mitchell, and several parishioners my age told me they were doing the same.
Joni Mitchell’s song is a lament for what’s been lost – she sings “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” But that’s not where the story ends for us, deprived for a time of the joy of gathering for Mass and the blessing of receiving Jesus in Holy Communion. Not even close.
Because, of course, the Eucharist isn’t gone. Here and now the sacrifice of Christ is still being celebrated for the salvation of the world. Its life-giving effect is not limited by physical distance or absence. And even our current circumstances are guaranteed to come to an end.