Five hopes for 2021

Aurelio Porfiri

Let us be honest: 2020 was horrible! I think that all will agree that so many bad things happened in the past year that we are very happy to leave it in the past forever. But now we need to see what our expectations are from  2021, and I want to state five points, five hopes that I think many could share.

1) We hope that the turmoil caused by the pandemic will be over. Now, we know that this is a hope that maybe is a lot to ask given the reality. On one side the vaccine may help to enter again into a certain normality, we also know that all of this will be a quite slow process and we also need to consider the consequences from an economic standpoint. And there are also consequences because of psychological stress, which we will talk about later. We hope that we can return again to appreciate crowds and not being afraid of being infected by a strange and dangerous virus from everyone.

2) We hope that we can overcome this fear that we have now of other people. I am not sure for how long (and I am speaking from an Italian perspective now) we will be asked to wear a mask, it may be for the whole year or maybe not. But I think that especially for young people there should be a way to understand that this is a passing moment in life, it is not life. I heard recently from a journalist friend, of a news story about a young girl who was shouting because one of her friends hugged her innocently, as many girls are used to doing normally. Now this has become a sort of attempt to kill ?!? and this is really terrible. Hope that our physical contact can be somehow restored.

3) We hope that people will be more and more able to feel the presence of God and the presence of the Church. This pandemic has been very tough also for the Catholic Church, somehow identifying certain recent shortcomings that then resulted in people deserting the churches. I am sure that the Church leadership has many elements to evaluate to see why this has happened. Moreover, the pandemic has emphasized something happening in the Church but has certainly not created it. So we hope that especially young priests, with the blessing of their Bishops, will be able to put the Church on the right track again.

4) We hope that people everywhere will understand the importance of old people in our families and in our lives. In the past year, many old people succumbed to the coronavirus and so we will talk more about them. We should always remember the important place they have in our families, they are always alive in our memory and they have so much experience that can help us to avoid mistakes that maybe they had made.

5) We hope that nations will be able to collaborate together for the common wellbeing, but I know that this is probably the hope that is most difficult to achieve. So we should never stop to pray for this.