As there seems to be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel associated to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are hearing the clamor for a return to the way things were. This seems only natural as we were made in the image and likeness of God to be in communion with Him and one another. Some of the rhetoric is useful and thought provoking, while other is hateful, divisive, and potentially harmful. Sadly, we even witness this within the Church. As our anxiousness grows to get back to life as we once knew it, might I suggest a few verses for meditation. The first is from one of the seven Wisdom books, Sirach (38:1-8, 12-15).
Make friends with the doctor, for he is essential to you;
God has also established him in his profession.
From God the doctor has wisdom,
and from the king he receives sustenance.
Knowledge makes the doctor distinguished,
and gives access to those in authority.
God makes the earth yield healing herbs
which the prudent should not neglect;
Was not the water sweetened by a twig,
so that all might learn his power?
He endows people with knowledge,
to glory in his mighty works,
Through which the doctor eases pain,
and the druggist prepares his medicines.
Thus God’s work continues without cease
in its efficacy on the surface of the earth.
Then give the doctor his place
lest he leave; you need him too,
For there are times when recovery is in his hands.
He too prays to God
That his diagnosis may be correct
and his treatment bring about a cure.
Whoever is a sinner before his Maker
will be defiant toward the doctor.
The other verses are from Jesus, our Savior.
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. (Mk 3:24–26)
You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mt 22:37–39)
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (Jn 15:12–14)
On Easter Sunday, just three weeks ago, we celebrated Jesus’ sacrifice for us. His death was the ultimate act of love for us. In the coming days, weeks, maybe even months, as we hopefully deal with the end of this pandemic, let us be mindful of Jesus’ words and acts. May these verses guide our own words and deeds, that they be modeled after Jesus’ works of love.
Crowning of Mary
May brings about special devotions to the Blessed Virgin, Mary, the Mother of God. At the conclusion of Mass today Archbishop Vigneron will crown Mary then lead us in the Memorare. I confess, I have not had much of a devotion to Our Lady, though you would not know that looking around our house. On my desk I have a beautiful figurine of the Blessed Mother with Child that I received as an ordination gift. I have a smaller image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a metal frame given to me from a parishioner at St. Thomas More. Elsewhere in the house I have a small ceramic piece of Our Lady of Fatima a coworker brought back from Portugal. Interestingly, all these pieces are gifts, much as Our Lady is a gift for the Church, and for us. Throughout May and beyond, let us be thankful for such a wonderful gift!
Praying that you and yours continue to have a blessed and glorious Easter,