Now the world lives in fear. We have suffered losses.

In our country, before the corona virus, there was the volcanic eruption.

As we now emerge from the lockdown or quarantines here and around the world, we fear for our future.

What if there’s a second wave of viral attack? What about our health? Our financial security?

Our anxieties and fears?

The proposal given to us is to live the “new normal.”

Live and work within safe distance of each other. Wait for your turn before entering the market or grocery store. Travel in half-capacity vehicles. Attend Mass on tv or in the internet. Cover you nose and mouth when in public.

The new normal means a new way of life full of restrictions.

As we celebrate the 6thSunday of Easter we are prepared to receive the gift of the Father and of the Son.

In the first reading (Acts 8), after the Samaritans were baptized in the name of Jesus, the apostles come to impose hands on them so that they will receive the Holy Spirit.

This practice is carried on in our church to this day. After receiving Baptism, where we become Jesus’ brothers and sisters, we later on receive Confirmation, where we receive the Holy Spirit to complete our experience of God’s love.

Adopted by the Father, saved by the Son, made holy by the Spirit…

Why do we need the Holy Spirit? In Jesus, we receive a new life – away from sin, from former harmful habits, from bad attitudes, from evil practices.

To live a new life is never easy. Just ask a newly released prisoner or a recovering addict or a returning overseas worker.

We have to make adjustments. We must get used to new ways of doing things. We need new attitudes and perspectives.

When the apostles came to bring the Holy Spirit to the Samaritans, they were bringing to them a precious gift, a divine help from heaven.

The Holy Spirit is the Divine Friend who reminds us constantly of our relationship with the Father; He makes Jesus constantly present before us; He binds us in love and unity to our brothers and sisters in the community.

A new life needs a new spirit – the Holy Spirit – to defeat the old spirit that dominated our hearts before.

As we live the new normal in our society today, and continue the new life we celebrated in Easter, let us ask the Holy Spirit to come again and again into our hearts.

May He help us become aware that we are always connected to the Father and present before Jesus. May He help us love and respect other people at home and outside the home in the new normal we are called to live in today.

Do not be afraid of the new normal. We have a new spirit – the Holy Spirit – in our hearts!