Isn’t it ironic that during Easter, a celebration of new life, we are also experiencing unprecedented numbers of illnesses and death the world over? While most of us are safe at home, there are hundreds of thousands suffering in hospitals, perhaps with no hope of survival. It’s a sad reality affecting each and every person in one way or another.
In a book titled: Ruthless Trust, by Brennan Manning, he says: “Trust is our gift back to God and he finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for love of it.” He then proceeds to quote one of his spiritual mentors: “Trust is that rare and priceless treasure that wins us the affection of our heavenly Father..., Among his countless children, whom he so greatly loves and who he heaps with tenderness and favors, there are few indeed who truly entrusting themselves to him, live as veritable children of God. There are as few who respond to his good by a trust at once filial and unshaken. And so it is that he welcomes with a special love those souls, all too few in number who in adversity as in joy, in tribulation and consolation, unfalteringly trust in his paternal love.”
So how do we trust God while in the throes of a deadly global pandemic, one in which we ourselves and/or our loved ones are infected or worse, terminal? The answers lie at the heart of what celebrate during Easter - i.e., the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus! St. John reminds us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16). Belief and trust in God is the key!
You may recall me saying at one or another, that “we are all terminal.” It’s a fact of life that one day we will die. The pandemic however, brings this fact into very sharp focus due to the pervasive reach of this horrible virus and the vast numbers of deaths it has caused. So here’s something for all of us to think about: does God love us any less now than he did preCovid-19? It might seem like it, but that’s because we think as humans, not as God. Trust in God assures us however, that God does love us in the same way he loved his own Son who died that we might live! Consider this profound teaching about trust in God from Saint Teresa of Avila: “Let nothing disturb you; nothing frighten you. All things are passing. God only is changeless. Patience gains all things. Who has God wants nothing. God alone suffices.”
So my friends, on a practical level we must to our part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by heeding the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control. On a spiritual level, we look to Jesus and to his disciples as models to imitate. Their trust in God was unflappable. They stayed the course in spite of rejection, imprisonment, persecution and even death! We too must persevere, TRUSTING in God’s love regardless of the circumstances, BELIEVING that God is with us, as he was with Jesus at Gethsemane; at his crucifixion on Golgotha; at his Resurrection on Easter and as he is to this very day in his body, the Church - i.e., you and me! I pray in Jesus’ name, that we will always be people who TRUST IN GOD, at all times and in all circumstances.