In today`s gospel, Jesus sends out the 12 to preach repentance and to heal people. What exactly did the apostles say to people, and what became of the people who were in some way converted. These people did not become Christians; that was something quite far in the future. The apostles don`t seem to have set up any structures for them to live out some new religious life. No doubt they continued to go to synagogue and to be a part of Judaism; possibly they became much more apocalyptic than they were before. Maybe what was new to them was a deeper relationship with God than they had had before.
Many of you have lived outside Church structures throughout the Pandemic, even if you have been watching mass on T.V. It`s not the same thing as actually going to church, and you are not at mass when watching it on T.V. There is the possibility that being away from church propelled you into a closer relationship with God. Going to church can be habit forming; we can all too easily go through the motions. I think many people will have turned to God throughout the Covid period because they had no one else to turn to. Hopefully this will be a source of renewal for the Church in the coming post-Covid period.