Over the last couple of days, I have had several conversations of what it might be like in ten or fifteen years when our kids come and ask about the Coronavirus pandemic of Lent 2020. How we will look back at this time during our history and discuss with our children or grandchildren, telling stories about being quarantined in our homes and how people in our lives persevered through this pandemic.
Immediately, my thoughts turn to our brothers and sisters who have lost or will lose something significant in their lives because of this pandemic. And while my heart is saddened by all of that, I can’t help but pray to our Lord: “How will you use this pandemic to make us more aware of your real presence in our lives? Who will you inspire during this time of despair and sadness? Who will you call forward as an example of your Son’s Passion to us during this great pandemic?”
Someday in the future perhaps we will speak of a Coronavirus Saint, who before the Coronavirus pandemic struggled with her Catholic faith. As a nurse or a doctor, or a first responder during these difficult times, she has witnessed the worst suffering firsthand and realized that she needed the Real Presence of the Eucharist in her life. As a result, as soon as the Church was able to begin to celebrate Mass in public, she became dedicated to Jesus in the Eucharist and became a modern example of living with Jesus in the center of her life.
I think in fear we tend to ask why God would allow such suffering. And while that is a valid question, I think the challenge I pose to myself during that thinking is, “How can I be a living example of Christ to those around me? Who needs my prayer more than ever now?” Because I can assure you, that our Coronavirus Saint is out there. She’s on the front line. She’s questioning her faith. She’s asking for God’s presence to fill her in her decision making, which is life or death for someone she’s caring for. She’s beginning to thirst for God’s presence in the Eucharist.
When I worry about not having enough of whatever it is that’s out of stock at this moment, I can’t help but think about St. Maximilian Kobe who stepped in front of Nazis to offer his life. I can’t help but think about San Pedro de Jesus Maldonado and how he was persecuted for his belief in Christ within the Eucharist. If it was not for the evil that was present in their time, we would not have their example of Jesus in their lives. And while I am not saying that those atrocities were necessary, I am saying that God always uses struggle to show us our need for Him in humanity.
So I invite you my friends. Think of our Coronavirus Saint. She needs our prayers. She needs us to come together as her family in Christ. May God grant her peace during this great struggle.