Community is so important in the lives of all people but especially in the lives of Christians. We were made in the image of the Blessed Trinity, in the image of a community of love. Over the last year, we have seen and felt the pain of being isolated from our communities. We were separated from our families, our friends, our co-workers, our teams and our clubs. We were told to stay socially distant from those who make our lives better. We have seen the toll this has taken on us and for many of us it has been a reminder of how important it is to stay connected to those we love.
As an extrovert, community has always been a central part of my life. I have always been “over involved.” Aside from the pandemic, I have recently felt the impact of what it truly means to be a part of a community. By its simplest definition, community is a feeling of fellowship with others. On February 18, I received a phone call from my doctor letting me know that I had cancer. These last two months, more than ever, I have felt the strength and power of communities. I was with some of my closest friends when I got the call. They rallied around me, kept me distracted and reminded me that I am loved.
The love and care I received while recovering was only matched by that of the support and love I got when I was able to return to life as I knew it. The volleyball community, the Bishop Stang community, and my friends and family were such an amazing witness of the love of the Trinity that at times I was overwhelmed by the love.
We believe that we are made in the image of God. God is a community within itself. This image of the love between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the role model for the life we are called to lead. The letter to the Hebrews reminds us, “Let’s hold firmly to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He Who promised is faithful; and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Heb 10:23-25). The reminder to love one another and meet with one another is the central part of our faith.
Jesus Himself tells us in the Gospel of Matthew, “Where two or three are gathered in My name there I am in the midst of them” (Mt 18:20). When we are gathered together as a Christian community, we are a witness to the Trinity. As the world begins to open back up, remember our need to be in community again with one another. We need to share love with one another, always reminding each other that we are beautiful creations of a good God.
Anchor columnist Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in Cranston, R.I. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.