The idea that the entire human race is confronting the same problem of a communicable virus puts all of us humans in the same boat (or ark, if you will). All of us: the rich, the poor, the marginalized, sinners and saints, the good, the bad, and the ugly are living the problem of Covid 19—but yesterday I was also reminded of how our God works through all things for good. Granted, people with more resources may always do better in any kind of crisis—but let’s leave that for the moment. (Although Fr. Kevin did remind us in his homily yesterday that we are still very responsible for Lent/Easter giving and charity.)
Any crisis shines a light on us all and our world—and it brings out the best and the worst (sometimes) of who we are as people. Today the Gospel, this Fourth Sunday of Lent, is about the story of the man born blind who Jesus makes whole. “I once was blind, but now I see.” This time of challenge, fear and “inconvenience” gives us the opportunity to look closely at many things because of our lives becoming more insular, and distanced. We can put our priorities, and all of our many various familial and social relationships, our personal and public habits under a microscope and examine them. Isn’t that what this season of Lent is about, anyway? Lately, I have been ‘talking’ a lot about habits in my “Sing Praise” column. We can shine a light on all the aspects of our lives—even including how we shop for food and other necessities…
In the face of this pandemic, we have seen how people began hoarding toilet paper and other “essentials.” (Thank you to Costco for regulating against crazy hoarding-buying!) I know from FB that there was a story about a guy down south who bought countless numbers of hand sanitizer with the intention of gouging the price for those in fear. It made me think of the saying: “There is more than enough for our need, but never enough for our greed.” Yikes! He was shamed and forced into donating it all because no one would buy from him. Good work, people!
Right now we have the opportunity to work on all and/or many aspects of our lives. Rather than live in fear, isolation and trepidation, we have the chance to pray more (never enough time before); to make interesting, healthy and delicious meals; to take walks or drives; to exercise; to play board games; to watch movies together that we may have missed; to read a book; to write actual letters and notes; and to reach out to people we haven’t spoken with in some time—maybe with face time or Skype. (Six feet, people!) We have been given the opportunity to open our eyes and shine a light on the many things: our choices, priorities and habits that we may have been blind about in our life. We may ultimately change our lives and maybe the lives of others for the better and for the future. This is the real presence of Christ. “I once was blind” or too busy to see. But God works through all things—even a pandemic—for good.