It seems the big discussion in the gospel today centers around the question. ‘who is Jesus, where did he come from? What is he about? Is he from Galilee or Bethlehem? Is he a prophet or the Christ? Many asked out of curiosity, some were afraid and wanted to arrest him. Others wanted to treat him justly and give him a chance to explain himself.
Today as I write this reflection, we are in week three of Covid-19 with no real end in sight. It is a time in which we are being called upon to trust one another, our leaders in church and government as well as community and family. Just as in the time of Jesus, people are asking, who is God, how can this crisis be happening? If we are people of faith, should we even question? As each day passes, I find myself becoming more overwhelmed and worried about when and how it will all end. Some days I find I do not have the words to pray, other days, my spirit is filled with words of wisdom and comfort! Recently a homilist reminded us not to spend so much time telling God how bad everything is going, but, rather, to remember that God is bigger than all of these tribulations, crisis and uncertainty! In other words, trust in God, God never fails us!
This bigger God showed me the beauty of nature on a road trip to the lake house yesterday. The peace and quiet that emanated from those surroundings gave me a sense of hope that I had been missing of late. This bigger God gave me reason to laugh and smile as we gathered as friends to share jokes and good times for a few hours. This bigger God sat with me during adoration in a quiet church as I heard that still small voice of God say ‘come unto me and rest’!
Lent looks and feels different these days. At the beginning of this season, we were encouraged to focus on three attitudes: Generosity, Openness & Emptiness so God can fill us and Silence to spend time with God. I began Lent determined to cultivate these attitudes. Some days I was more successful than others. Then along came COVID-19 and a constant attitude adjustment. The attitude of Generosity has lead me to look at how much ‘stuff’ I have that I really don’t need! The attitude of Openness and Emptiness is leading me to step back and lower my expectations of self and others and find in the emptiness room for new growth and experiences. Silence can be challenging for an extrovert like myself! But I am finding a sense of solace and peace that feed my soul in unexpected ways!
The days and weeks ahead promise to hold different experiences for us all. Some will be painful, others will bring peace and joy. The one certain thing we can count on is that our loving God is walking with us during this time. Together we are called to persevere in faith and trust and persevere. Health and blessing to all.
Theresa Secord is a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.