“Hosanna!” the people cry. This is not another word of praise like Hallelujah; they had a word for that, and it was Hallelujah. Hosanna literally means Save — a cry for help. Save us! the people cry. There’s a sense of frantic joy mixed in, like the shipwrecked crew who spot a rescue helicopter — if only the helicopter would spot them. Hosanna. In April 2020, my Hosanna feels closer to true than it ever has, particularly when I am thinking of my family full of essential workers, and my many friends in the medical community, and the vulnerable and the elderly and alone. That’s where my Hosanna has become true.
It strikes me that what’s different about the present crisis is that, while markets may be reeling, what worries us most deeply is that people, flesh and bone people, are not able to contribute their part to our common life. The images of actual lives being cut off from each other is even more vivid than plummeting market returns.
Even in this time of social distancing, we are still blessed with an abundance of social capital. We have so much love to offer one another! We have so much love to offer a whole world that needs it. Never has the Church needed to be the Church more than now.
Since any statutes of limitations should have expired by now, I’ll risk confessing to you that we didn’t own a television set when our kids were very young. At times we worried someone might report this neglect to Child Protective Services. But since we didn’t have a TV, some kind soul had pity on our son Alden and gave him a broken remote control to add to the small collection of rocks and sticks his heartless parents had convinced him were actual toys.