Today is the Third Sunday of Easter. We are almost into our third month of the coronavirus pandemic. we have lived through 40 days of Lent without being able to go into our churches, without being able to celebrate Mass and even more importantly, without being able to receive the Body and Blood of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. How is that for a Lenten fast and penance?
Many people must be wondering where is Jesus through all of this? How could he let this happen? Why is he punishing us? I have given this much thought over these last few weeks and here is what I think.
First of all, Jesus, who is God as well as the Holy Spirit, doesn’t do things to punish us. There are many passages of scripture letting us know this, and since we (or should) believe scripture is the Word of God, we really should believe what it says. Along these same lines, we need to know that God will only let us suffer what we can handle, however, he will use situations to teach us something. While he didn’t create the coronavirus, he is letting it happening and for a reason. What could be this reason?
Could it be He is trying to show us what happens when we (not necessarily us individually, but certainly as a culture) reject Him? Could it be He is showing us what it really is like when we don’t let Him into our worlds? Our culture? Our societies? Our lives? Look through history, and see when bad things have happened, wars, disease, famine, drought, floods, they have all been at times when the world has been in a bad place, morally and spiritually. Sin was everywhere. People worshipped other Gods. People put things before God. Through His power, he then allowed (or is some cases caused) bad things to happen. Did he cause this pandemic? No, we did, even though we are not 100% sure how it started yet. Could He stop it any time He wants to? Yes, and He will when He is ready. But maybe we need to take some time to think first, to think about our lives, to think about God.
Anyone of us could die tomorrow. Are we ready?
Well, I guess I got a little off track there since I was going to talk about today’s Gospel reading. Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 34: 13 – 35 which describes when Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They have been walking and talking and did not realize they were talking with Jesus. They were discussing their disappointment that Jesus didn’t come back like he said he was going to do. And he reprimanded them with these words:
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer* these things and enter into his glory?”
Because they couldn’t see him they didn’t believe. Isn’t this what we are doing as well? We don’t see him so we don’t believe? We don’t see his work so we don’t believe? We don’t think he would ever let this happen so we don’t believe?
Maybe we should. Maybe this is God’s wake-up call for us. Maybe are eyes should be opened.