Extending the Stay-at-Home Order: A Message from Bishop Lee

Easter greetings to all the members and Friends of the Diocese of Chicago this is Jeff Lee your bishop here we know now that Governor Pritzker has extended the restrictions on social distancing physical distancing and the order to shelter in place he's extended that through the end of May

therefore just to remind all of us that the guidelines I've put forth in the diocese around our attempt to be faithful to the work we're given to do to protect the community to observe what the government and medical professionals have asked us to do that is also extended

at least through the end of May I want you to know that during this time the next month though we won't be idle I'm gathering a group of people from around the diocese to help me think through plans that may be appropriate in coming months as this pandemic

continues to unfold among us now is the time to recommit ourselves to this hard hard work of keeping ourselves distant from one another and observing what has been asked of us so that we may get to a different kind of place in our observance of what keeps the

community safe we're going to be working on possible scenarios and how we can respond to them as a church so stay tuned for that I'll give you updates as time moves along here but we're not just going to be doing nothing in terms of looking toward the future

in hope that we will get to a place when restrictions may be eased in some form and maybe a variety of ways across this state in the meantime in the meantime while we still sequester ourselves at home and continue to reach out to one another by telephone and

Minh turn ette and all the other ways we're finding I want to remind you of a story that's deeply embedded in our tradition for the Easter season we'll hear it on the third Sunday of Easter that Sunday coming up next it's the story of the two Friends of

Jesus on the road to Emmaus he appears to them they don't recognize him as he's so often the case in these post resurrection stories and they come to the place they were headed to and sit down at table they invite him still unrecognized to join them and the

code language then in the story says that Jesus the guest becomes Jesus the host he takes the bread and breaks it and their eyes are open they recognize him and no sooner do they recognize him then he disappears from their sight again the story then says they were

so taken by the sudden realization that what they thought was the end was not the end that they got right back up and went right back to the place they thought they needed to get away from Jerusalem the place of intrigue and danger and the place where their

deepest hopes had been dashed for me the point of that story is an important one for those of us who are isolated from one another and from the Eucharist and other ways of praying physically together that are so dear to us Jesus himself is the sacrament is the

primordial sacrament the foundation of our reality as members of his dying and rising body ourselves whether we're able physically to be together or physically to break that bread and share it among ourselves I remind you that there's no indication in the story that they ate that bread at

all they were so overwhelmed by the reality of his presence with them even as they shared the stories of their disappointment and frustrations and their hopes and dreams we're still doing that every time we gather to share those realities in our lives to swap the stories of how

we are encountering Christ or our sense of the absence of God in our lives or whatever it is Christ still appears among us in us he's always with us so say your prayers continue to reach out to one another find ways to feed the hungers of the world

maybe as close as your neighborhood there are ways a plenty to reach out in loving care for those who are most at risk be a good heart steady on and remember that Christ still makes himself known to us in the breaking of the bread in the breaking of

our hearts and every time we turn in faith and hope and longing to God in God's mercy Happy Easter we're in it together

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