Pastoral Letter | April 13, 2020

A blessed Eastertide to each of you. Again, Eastertide is FIFTY DAYS of celebrating resurrection.

Today is Easter Monday. This special observance began hundreds of years ago. A monk, whose name has been lost in history, was pondering the meaning of the events of Holy Week, with its solemn observances of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the astonishing, earth-shaking events of Easter. “What a surprise ending,” he thought. Then suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, he had a new insight. His hearty laugh startled his fellow monks, breaking the silence of their contemplation.

“Don’t you see,” he cried, “It was a joke! A great joke! The best joke in all history! On Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified, the devil thought he had won. But God had the last laugh on Easter when he raised Jesus from the dead.”

The monks called it “the Easter laugh.” The idea spread rapidly, and the day after Easter became known as a “Day of Joy and Laughter” in Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant countries. In homes and churches, it became common to celebrate God’s great joke on the devil with joke-telling sessions. It became the custom even in monasteries. Especially in monasteries.

But is it okay to tell jokes in the midst of this pandemic? I’m not quite sure. I am horribly offended when I hear fellow comics tell jokes about mass murderers. So perhaps I am being a hypocrite. But this feels different. These aren’t really jokes about the illness. They are jokes about sequestering.

Ariane Ling, a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health, writes about the toll the current crisis has on our emotional state. It turns out that harnessing a sense of humor during this time is one of the most effective strategies to cope with unpleasant feelings.

Ling explained that there are both short-term and long-term benefits of cracking a joke now and then amid the crisis. “It helps to manage and tolerate stress in the moment while also maintaining perspective and resilience moving forward.” Humor is one creative way of coping rather than avoiding and going into denial about things. (Bored Panda)

So, for those who want to hear jokes, read on. If you don’t, don’t. What jokes are allowed during quarantine? Inside jokes.

My dog and I are so similar these days: 1. We love taking walks each day. 2. But if we go near a stranger, everyone yells, “No!” 3. We wander the house all day looking for food.

Moment of silence for the people who agreed to live with horrible roommates because they “wouldn’t be spending much time at home anyway.”

I wish they had those self-driving cars. I would send mine to the store and back.

If you’re worried about gaining weight, stop hanging around in your sweats. Put on your bathing suit.

A couple of relationship memes:

Guys will stand 5’8” away from you and call it six feet.

Young woman posted on Twitter: Jon Hamm and I were set to have our beautiful wedding this April. However, due to the coronavirus, we will be postponing the celebration of our love. I’m heartbroken. My apologies to our friends and loved ones. (Do not ask Jon about this; he’s busy.)

Hollywood Squares: the original Zoom meeting

I used to cover my farts by coughing. Now I cover my coughs by farting.

Not to brag, but what a time to be childless. (From Bill: I have a good friend who is a 65-year-old pediatrician. One day last week there were only three kids scheduled to be seen all day, so he told his colleague, a 35-year-old woman, “You might as well go home.” She replied, “My kids are at home. YOU go home.”)

Corona might have one good outcome: people FINALLY learn to mute themselves in virtual meetings when not talking.

All of us: After social distancing is over, I would still prefer that people wash their
hands a lot.
Introvert: AND stay six feet away from me.

Introverts are waiting for the quarantine to end so people can leave the house and they can be alone again.

If you are self-isolating in 90-degree weather with a pool I do not want to hear
ANYTHING from you.

Remember thinking that the mayor from “Jaws” was a complete idiot for keeping the beaches open? People complaining about the Covid-19 quarantine are like the mayor from “Jaws.”

My spouse and I are playing the game, “Why do you do it that way.” …(No one’s winning.)

Be well and be safe. We will get through this. But it’s tough!

Feel what you feel: it’s okay to be scared or depressed or bored or angry. But find someone to talk with about those feelings. My phone is on 24/7: 952-738-1783.



And finally, some favorite memes from Bored Panda:

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