The following reflection is by Tom Cahill
According to The Times newspaper, millions of young people in Britain are lonely despite having hundreds of so-called ‘friends’ on social networking sites. Presumably Britain is not alone in this. Those who seek friends at arms-length are bound to be unhappy. Friendship is intended to be right up close and personal. Virtual reality can’t substitute for the real thing. Surfing the Net may seem cool, bright and breezy, even exciting; but it’s well to remember that it’s not called the ‘net’ for nothing. Being trapped by virtual friendships that may well be just illusionary, if not downright predatory, won’t fill the void within an individual. The survey of more than 2,000 adults found that loneliness was a major worry for 21 per cent of people aged 18-24, compared with only 8 per cent of those aged 55 and over.
Easter Sunday is the Church’s most important celebration. It may seem a bit of virtual reality to some, but not to those of faith. Jesus came right up close and personal to bring us resurrection. Today’s Second Reading (Col 3:1-4) tells us what we should be ‘surfing’ for: the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. The ‘catch’, if you want to call it that, is that resurrection can’t be found in virtual reality. You won’t find it outside daily living with those you like and dislike. Resurrection is rising through reality – even because of reality – to the glory God has in store for those who value real friends in real life.