Daily readings can be found here.
It is hard not to talk about the coronavirus these days. It is on everybody’s mind and in everybody’s mouth, starting with politicians, civil authorities, religious leaders… and their words intermingle with hoaxes and fake news…
Some people, perhaps even with the best intention, offer various solutions, advising to use holy water, various devotional prayers, and similar. The faith of the Church, however, teaches that spiritual means are to be used against spiritual evils and not as a solution of medical problems. Perhaps, underneath, there might the mindset that the current outbreak of the virus is a punishment for our lack of repentance, lifestyle of the society, moral transgressions, and similar. What would Jesus say?
Jesus himself is questioned by his disciples about the man born blind: Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? If we sometimes lack strong faith and understanding, be comforted that even the disciples failed in their test! God does not see as mortals who search for the origin. God is interested in the goal. Jesus responds: Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.
Jesus challenges us to look for what we are gaining: the blind man gains sight, sure, but even more so, he gains the sight of faith: he finds his way to Jesus saying I do believe, Lord and he worships him.
CRISIS AS A CHANCE – WHAT CAN BE GAINED
Make the works of God visible in people. Although we might only be seeing things from our perspective, Jesus challenges us to look from his perspective. Things suddenly can gain a much deeper meaning. Instead of asking “why”, we should start asking “what for”.
People frequently bring up the question about the sacrament of confession, its availability (or rather the lack of it) in these days. In fact, many perceive painful separation from this sacrament that otherwise allows them experiencing forgiveness. Instead of mourning this temporal loss, we ought to look for possible gain.
The availability of the sacrament of confession in our parts of the world spoiled us, in a sense, to the point of demanding it almost as our right to claim. Instead, we can adopt the attitude of gratitude for this gift, respecting the guidance and prudence of the Church when regulating forms and times of this sacrament.
Frequent reception of this sacrament, at times, invites the mentality of repetition and inflation: since it is easy to be forgiven, we fail to take the call to conversion with seriousness. The Church, however, reminds us that the sacrament of confession, unless reducd to a mere ritual without content and significance, needs to conclude the process of conversion, rather than stand at its beginning. In fact, the Catechism describes many forms of penance in Christina life (CCC 1434-1439) and discuses them before talking about the sacrament of penance and reconciliation (CCC 1440). So, what can be gained during this time when the sacrament of reconciliation is not available? Deepen your understanding of penance:
- Conversion: turn away from sin and return to God.
- Reconciliation: reconcile with brothers and sisters who are around (they represent the Church) and ask for forgiveness.
Use this time as a chance: after this crisis, when we return, we will not just resume our operations as if nothing happened. The world will be different and it will need our faith more than before.