4th Sunday of Lent Year A, 22/03/2020

We have been traveling the Lenten journey towards Holy Week and Easter. Now, we are on the 4th Sunday of Lent, the Laetare (‘Rejoice’) Sunday. At this point of our road towards Holy Week and Easter, we are challenged by the global reality of the coronavirus pandemic and therefore, our churches are closed, the cities are closed, we are keeping the social distance and other precautions. Catholics are experiencing Eucharistic hunger and thirst, we are worried about our physical health and physical communion as the Living Body of Christ, and even concerned about our social connections.

 However, this Sunday the readings affirm that in our journey we are not alone. And in our present challenges, fears and panic we are not alone. The Lord is offering us his helping hand because he is our shepherd as the Psalmist encourages us today with these words: “The Lord’s goodness and mercy shall follow us all our days” (23:6). He is the Lord who is true to his name guiding us from the darkness and distress of this difficult time of the virus pandemic.

            In the first reading, the Lord is concerned with our hearts and not our external appearances. In the second reading he illuminates us, turning us into light. And as in the Gospel, we are perhaps without sight especially in the midst of this difficult time of the coronavirus disease, and we are finding ourselves suddenly looking up to the Son of man for healing, protection and peace. Indeed, we can trust and believe in him even more deeply.

            Let us not obstinately remain blind to the dangers and impact of the deadly virus, but take the precautions given for our safety and health. Those who are young, do not become blind to the needs of the old and the vulnerable. Be present to offer them support and peace, consolation and some sense of hope. And let us all become a light of faith, hope and support to one another.

            Finally, look for the good in other people and notice their strengths, see the beautiful things in the world around you. Become the light of Christ to all with acts of kindness.

Blessings of peace and good health.