Reflecting on the Pandemic
For the past six months, all of us have been dealing with the effects of this coronavirus pandemic. We have been asked to limit our normal activities, stay home, avoid large crowds, observe physical distancing, wash our hands often, change clothes after going out. The most devastating restriction imposed on us people of faith is the closing of our churches or limiting attendance, thus preventing us from worshiping and receiving our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. This pandemic has also caused the loss of employment and the source of livelihood of millions and the untold suffering it continues to bring.
We do not know when all these will end, and when the vaccine and cure will be found, and we will live our normal lives again. I am sure that we are all tired and weary of this situation – of keeping a distance from one another, from wearing masks that make it difficult for us to breath, from curtailing our usual movements and activities, of earning our living, and our interaction with one another especially our loved ones.
We are also practically living in fear: fear of contracting the dreaded virus and experiencing the suffering from it, fear of transmitting it to others, especially to our family members and friends, fear from the possibility of our dying from the disease, fear of dying alone in the hospital and leaving our loved ones behind.
All of us are thinking of and asking why all this is happening in our lives and our world today. It is but natural for us to wonder why.
Probably some of us have asked: “Is God asleep? Has He abandoned us? Why is He allowing this to happen?”
St. Paul gives us a consoling or reassuring answer to this question: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
But even more than St. Paul, Christ Himself says: "Come to Me you who are burdened, and I will give you rest."
Do you notice that because of this pandemic, we have more time to reflect on our lives, and not just to reflect, but to turn to God? To spend more time with God and pray to Him in our homes? This time makes us realize how helpless we are, how little we are, how vulnerable we are, but God is the most powerful and the only One who can end this pandemic and make things good again.
Psalm 23 also reassures and consoles us when it says: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” We, therefore, need to realize this: that God is always with us as we live our lives here on earth. We need to trust in the Lord, have faith in Him that in all this, He is leading us to Himself.
Where is God during this pandemic? What is He doing?
There is a beautiful imagery that answers this question. We all started in life when we were in our mothers’ wombs. If we asked: “Where are you, mother?” the mother would answer, “I am all over you, my child. You cannot see me because you are inside of me. I am taking care of you and protecting you. So trust that I love you, and all will be well.” As most of you are mothers who bore a child in your wombs, you can understand how much you love your child even in the womb.
This imagery is the same as that given by St. Paul: "He is not far from each of us, for in Him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28) God is telling us: “I am all over you, and I love you. Trust in Me. All will be well.”
In His time, not ours.
Are we tired of this pandemic? Are we afraid?
The antidote is to trust in the Lord, to realize that this life is only temporary and that what truly matters is eternal life that He promises to those who love Him. When a baby is born, he can now see the light of day. He can see his mother!
When we are born to eternal life, we will see our Lord God face to face, and we will be eternally happy.
So here, let us love Him and those people He loves. It is also time to think of those suffering more than we are – the poor, the hungry. We are called to do this.
Let us continue to pray that this pandemic will end soon. Let us ask our Lady, Health of the Sick, to pray for us and our world. #