By Emma Palova
“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
Lowell, MI – In early March before the official outbreak of the coronavirus in Michigan, we had a discussion with Ludek about the kissing of the cross on Good Friday. We we were wondering how are we going to handle that, since COVID-19 was already in the U.S.
During the catholic liturgies, there is a lot to come into contact whether it’s during a Paschal service or a regular mass. What seems to be like ages ago, we decided we will not go to Good Friday services protect our health .
Well, now we know that we’re not going, because all masses have been cancelled due to the stay-at-home order in Michigan. We will wath the service on WMXI Fox https://www.fox17online.com/ at 3 p.m. today.
From the Easter Triduum, the Good Friday liturgy is my favorite one because of the reading of “The Passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ, according to John.
The passion reading has inspired Mel Gibson’s 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ” and countless other works of art. Rightfully so, following is an excerpt from the Passion:
EXCERPT: The Passion of the Christ
Narrator: Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. Judas his betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them,
Christ: “Whom are you looking for?”
Narrator: They answered him,
Crowd: ” Jesus, the Nazorean.”
The above passage is very close to how you write a screenplay.
The reading of the Passion from the empty St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Grand Rapids gave a very powerful message of suffering of the Christ.
Earlier in the day I worked on the intro to my upcoming book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.”
Introduction to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir
Here is what I have so far:
I am writing this introduction during the unprecedented time of the coronavirus shutdown, as we celebrate the Easter Triduum in front of televised services in empty churches across the nation without audiences.
In Michigan, we are on our 18th day of the COVID-19 quarantine that has been extended through April 30, 2020. Coronavirus is now the leading cause of death in the U.S. It has caused 1,970 deaths across the country per day. As of early Friday, the U.S. had more than 465,750 coronavirus cases, according to data from John Hopkins University. More than 1.4 million cases have been reported globally.
More than half a billion people around the globe are under a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the deadly virus. This includes my homeland, the Czech Republic. The coronavirus does not discriminate or recognize borders between the states, the countries or the continents. Some are calling it an apocalypse.
Our immigration story from former socialist Czechoslovakia to the U.S. has come full circle; from one history milestone to another one.
The milestone that offset our journey across three continents was the reformist movement known as the Prague Spring 1968 under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek.
The epic story of love and desire for freedom spans 52 years on the date of publishing of this memoir. The major characters, Ella and Vaclav Konecny, are my parents, to whom I have dedicated this memoir. Mom Ella was a happy pharmacist in former Czechoslovakia, while Dad Vaclav was an unhappy mathematician in the old country.
Dad’s quest for his career fulfillment has been a constant source of inspiration for me in good and in bad times.
Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.
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