The Walking Dead

Fifth Sunday of Lent

“I will open your graves and have you rise from them…I will put my spirit in you that you may live.” –Ez 37:12-14

I have been walking around dead for a while. No, I am not a ghost or a Zombie. But  parts of me have been dead inside for over a year. The part that laughs while meeting up with a friend for coffee, the part that engages in casual conversation, the part that sits at lunch and listens to the wisdom of the older Sisters in the convent. There is a part of me that comes alive in meaningful, spontaneous connections. While the REST of me is so thankful to be alive and healthy, this part of me has been killed by social distancing, Zoom, and isolation. It has been buried under the constant weight of decision making, and the anxiety of making the wrong decisions. 

I recently watched my son run in the backyard with a friend after our first in-person Cub Scout meeting since November. My fully vaccinated aunt and uncle came for dinner. Today, our children will hug their great-grandparents for the first time in over a year. With each of these firsts, a little piece of me is coming alive again. We have all been “managing” and “hanging in there” and “making the best of things.” The family members that have gotten sick have recovered. Many of us are vaccinated now. We are so grateful that we have been safe.

Yet, I am also starting to recognize spontaneous joy in ourselves and in our kids. These little pieces of us that have been missing slowly sliding into place again. I realize that at other times in my life I have lived this way: being “satisfied” with settling. I have accepted the death of my dreams, my hopes, my visions for a better way. They get buried under “making it work” and “the way things are.”  Perhaps as things slowly reopen, we can pause and reassess. Maybe God is calling me to be something new and more fully alive today as well? 

What in my life has reached an impasse and seems ready to be laid to rest?

What parts of me are yearning for a resurrection? 

How might God be breathing new life into me this Lent? 

Published by jencoito

Jen Coito is a California native with diverse experience in parish, academic, and national ministry settings. She has a Masters in Pastoral Theology from Loyola Marymount University. She worked for the California Province of Jesuits for seven years promoting Christian Life Community on university campuses and other diverse ethnic settings. Jen has collaborated on the creation of formation materials, discernment tools, and small group processes that are being used around the country in Vietnamese, Korean, Spanish, and English. In 2013, Jen and Jesuit priest Fr. Tri Dinh co-founded Christus Ministries out of a desire to engage local young adults and form young-adult friendly parishes. Jen works for the Sisters of Notre Dame in California as the Associate Director of Mission Advancement. Jen, Jason, and their three children live in Southern California. You can read more of Jen's writings at

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