Today’s readings at Holy Mass give us pretty much everything we need. 1. Naaman’s illness reminds us what to pray for: All the people in hospitals all over the world right now. 2. The cleansing power of the Jordan River reminds us what Lent means: renewing our baptismal consecration.
3. And then there’s the line from the Psalm: I will go to the altar of God.
All the priests and deacons of the diocese will have a conference call with the bishop at 2pm. Only the Lord knows precisely what will come of that call. But I think we can safely assume the following: A lot of us won’t see each other in person for some weeks.
The more forward-seeing among us realized this well over a week ago. It had become apparent that the most-charitable action any Christian could take was: Stay home for a month. Leave the house only when you absolutely have to.
The altar will remain in place. We will gather around it together again, soon enough. We will lose some friends to death in the meantime. We will see them at the altar in heaven, please God.
God governs all things. We know that everything happens for a reason. We know that He would never do this to us if we didn’t need to recognize something. We have gone wrong. We have gone wrong in some way that only this situation can correct.
We do not know how we have gone wrong. That’s the whole point. We need to let God teach us. We can have no doubt that He intends to use the world-wide quarantine as a means of rejuvenating us, at some level of our being, deeper than we even know exists. We must let Him do that.
We will learn something about ourselves that we could never learn any other way. Which is why the good and merciful God has allowed this situation to reach the current crisis.
We do not know the meaning of it right now. That’s is the daggone point.
He will teach us. One quiet, boring day at a time.