Virtual Reality -- What You See Is What You Don’t Get
Back in the mid-1900s, as some can recall, life was very simple, not complicated. As young boys in our suburban neighborhood, we were happy with the simple toys and games we played. Some toys we made out of our creative imaginations like phones using empty milk cans and strings. We could see and hear each other at the end of the line, actually, in-person. We were happy. We had fun.
Now, even in places like I grew up in, I suppose, most children have a smartphone with built-in games, toy gadgets that they can play with alone themselves. Even two-year-old babies look for an iPad to entertain themselves tapping on it with their little fingers. Everywhere you look, adults are glued to their smartphones.
Technology has grown by leaps and bounds. For one, the Internet is a wonder the young take for granted. The Internet has been useful in this pandemic. We now talk of virtual classrooms, live-streamed Masses and church services. We can see each other “virtually” anywhere we are around the globe without making a trip to be with them.
Webinars, video chats, Zooming — you can see and talk to people on a phone or computer screen. But you cannot touch them, or shake their hands or hug them.
Virtual reality is not real. It is a poor substitute for reality. Virtual classrooms for sure are not ideal. Students are deprived of personal interaction with their teachers and classmates. They cannot play sports with their friends, etc. The actual interaction, so important in children’s total development, is lacking.
God Himself, In His eternal design, chose to appear in Person, like us, to be with us. The people in His time could see Him, talk to Him, touch Him, hug Him. They had interaction with Him and vice-versa. Even when He had to go, He left Himself in a form that we can see, touch, taste and receive in our bodies. It is in the nature of man to touch, to hug to have palpable expressions of love. Christ wants to be close to us, to be united with us. That is why He came as a Baby, showed Himself for 33 years, died on Calvary and stays present in the Eucharist.
During this pandemic, live-streamed Masses are a poor substitute to in-person attendance when you can worship in person, receive His Body and Blood in Holy Communion, and interact in person with other members of the Church. And so we all pray for this pandemic to end soonest.
At the end of our earthly journey, the only important thing is seeing Him face to face and being in union with Him in Heaven. #
"One thing I ask of the Lord;
this I seek:
To dwell in the Lord’s house
all the days of my life,
To gaze on the Lord’s beauty . . . " (Psalm 27:4)