by Sr. Jo Anne Kelly MMM Ireland 15.01.2022
In the fridge in our kitchenette there is a bottle of fruit juice. It has the name “Drench”. The drink is new to me but the word drench is not. Drench brings back many memories of when I was a child on our small farm. My father always kept a few cattle, including small calves. One particular time a small calf was sick. She was lying listless, and looked almost lifeless. My father always seemed to know what was wrong with a calf and what medicine she needed. I never knew if the medicine came in liquid form or if he had to crush something and mix it with water. He had it in a bottle and it was called a “drench”. The process of getting it into the calf was called “drenching”.
My brothers lifted the calf, got her on her feet and held her and my father put the bottle in her mouth. That poor little calf, though she objected and protested any way she could, had no choice but to swallow her medicine. However, it always worked and, in a day or two she was fresh and healthy and very much alive.
We have all taken a drenching from this covid pandemic, something we did not want and yet we had no choice but to take it and live through it. There has to be some way that we will come out from it in a better place, more alive with a different life. To go back to what we had, cannot be what we need or what will make us happier. There is another way to live besides the pursuit of more of everything. We do see signs of the change. At this time of Christmas, the beautiful feast when we remember the Birth of Jesus, the one who came to show us how to live, many signs of real goodness, generosity, thoughtfulness, creativity and ingenuity are seen everywhere.
One such example was on Christmas Eve night. A friend shared with me how the parish had tried many different ways to ensure people would have an opportunity to attend Christmas Mass in spite of restrictions. She, with her husband and children, attended a “Drive in Mass”. The large carpark of a sports area was packed with cars of families. In the field, the altar on the back of a lorry was beautifully decorated, floodlit, with loud speakers and Christmas music. The priest celebrating began by asking if the congregation could hear him and there was a chorus of hooting and tooting of horns to let him know he could be heard. It was truly a joyful Eucharistic Celebration of Love. Afterwards there was a special message for the children. I hope in years to come those children will tell their own children and grandchildren how the priests and people tried to keep the Faith alive during the pandemic drenching.