Five short weeks ago, before we ever heard of COVID-19, we began our Lenten Journey. We often associate Lent with fasting ~ “giving up something” ~ be it chocolate, social media, coffee, etc. But God had a different plan for us this Lent. Who of us would have thought that we would need to “give up” the privilege of coming together as faith communities to celebrate Eucharist in our Churches and chapels? or practice social distance from our friends and loved ones? As I wrote in the Gospel reflection on the First Sunday of Lent, “We may feel lonely, distraught and think that evil has gotten the upper hand, [but] Jesus is right there in the midst of anything and everything we may be going through and He will lead us safely out.” Do you trust Him?
This week, which can be rightly called “the Week that Changed the World,” begins with the liturgy of Palm Sunday which includes St. Matthew’s Passion narrative. From the anointing at Bethany to His death on the Cross, we walk with Jesus and experience a multitude of human experiences along the way ~ friendship, belonging, betrayal, abandonment, sorrow, excruciating suffering, desolation and ultimately death. But death does not have the final say. A week from now we will celebrate His Resurrection. As we journey through the Passion we see that the Heart of Jesus compassionately goes out to people. In the worst of circumstances, He does not condemn.
COVID-19 will not have the final say either. God is in charge. He will not abandon us. He will continue to support us and give us the necessary graces to navigate the challenging days ahead. There will disappointments at missing Holy Week liturgies and special family gatherings, celebrations and traditions. In all circumstances, lean on Jesus! He doesn’t want us to bear our burdens alone. He certainly knows what it is to carry a Cross.
Continued blessings! Be safe! Be assured of our prayers!
Sister Marcella Louise Wallowicz, CSFN