We're currently in an unprecedented and difficult time as a collective society and as a church. With the ongoing spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), governments and dioceses around the world have had to make difficult decisions in hopes of stopping the disease in its tracks.
There currently is a directive in place to not gather in groups of 50 or more. Understandably, this makes it difficult, if not impossible, to go to Sunday mass or daily mass. We're encouraged to stay home as much as possible and to practice social distancing. All of this can be very isolating and very challenging.
I, like many, am extremely anxious about this situation. In my lifetime to date, I have never been through something quite like this. In my prayer today, I opened my heart to the Lord to share some of the anxieties that I have in the midst of this international storm: I feel helpless. I feel lonely. I am worried for my family and friends. I am worried about what the future holds.
It is totally normal to experience these anxieties and doubts that things will get better, especially when it seems like the news cycle is constantly churning out bad news. But instead of succumbing to fear, I want to challenge myself and you to step out into the deep and make an even more firm resolve to trust in our Lord.
One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out, and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?” —Luke 8:22-25 (NRSV)
This passage from Luke's gospel is known as Jesus calms a storm. I was reflecting on this passage today, and I invite you to continue to reflect on it with me in light of this situation.
As I read and re-read this passage, my eyes were immediately drawn to this line: "...and they were in danger" (v. 23). Though I know that I currently am safe and healthy, and most of my family and friends are also safe and healthy. But with constant news of infection and disease, I feel unsafe. I feel like I'm in danger. What am I able to do, other than protect myself and do my own due diligence to ensure that I don't infect others?
In this passage, the disciples recognize the danger they are in: Their boat hit a storm, and the boat is at risk of capsizing. Jesus, meanwhile, is peacefully asleep. The disciples decide to wake up Jesus and beg Him for help.
Jesus, being King of the Universe, hears the cry of His disciples and calms the seas at once. Jesus then turns to His disciples and asks a piercing question: "Where is your faith?" (v. 25).
I believe that in this time of stress and anxiety, Jesus is asking this question to me and all of us: Where is my faith? Where is our faith?
It can be difficult to see the silver lining in this time. But I believe that this is an invitation that the Lord is giving us: He is extending out His hand to us, asking us to trust in Him. Are we ready to say yes to His invitation?
I admit, I am so afraid of what is next. But I trust that there is a deeper meaning to all of this, one that I can't see and don't know. He is the one who holds our lives in His hands. Though the waves may toss and turn, though we may not be able to see the end of the storm, one thing is certain: God is the Alpha and the Omega, beginning and the end. These are the words that we invoke at Easter Vigil, which we are walking towards in this season of Lent.
He is the master of every storm.
At this time, I encourage you to continue to pray for one another and take care of one another while also keeping in mind the directives that your local government and health authority may have given with regards to social distancing and monitoring your symptoms. I would love to keep you in my prayers, and you can share them with me by filling out the form below. You can choose to stay anonymous if you wish, and you can also leave your email if you'd like to keep in touch!
I would also invite you to listen to your favourite episode of The Feminine Genius Podcast and share it with others. Who have been your favourite guest(s)? Who would you like to hear from? Let me know by sending me a message!
In Jesus through Mary,