Jeremiah 17: 5-10
Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6)He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 7)“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. 8)He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” 9)The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? 10)“I the LORD search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
Once again, as the world continues to crumble under the weight of this new virus, and any thoughts of normalcy seem like a thing of the past, we find ourselves dumbfounded by the president’s words, that the borders of our country are being closed in an effort to curb the spread of this brand new ‘virus.’ We are left a bit numb by the domino effect of businesses and schools closing one after the other, in all of our towns. Many of us can not even fathom March without the usual basketball madness… a madness we all could enjoy… not like this madness… And then there are the cancellations of all the other sporting events throughout the nation. Many of us can’t believe what is going on and don’t quite know what to do. We are unsure of what to do and feeling a sense of loss because our ‘normal’ is being interrupted. Not only are we dealing with loss of entertainment, but for some, there is a loss of income … This can be quite difficult, but mostly, we are suffering because our sense of peace that comes from living our days in our ‘relative routines‘ has been shattered.
Many people are upset, some think that all of this is going too far… In reality, what we should be doing is using these ‘freed up’ hours spending more time in prayer and listening to the word of God. It is the Lenten season, after all. A time for prayer, fasting and alms giving. If you look at the daily Mass readings, once again we are met with the prophetic nature of God’s Holy Word. How long will it take you to realize that preparing yourself for the pandemic is not the time to neglect your daily prayers?
Even when we see the throngs of people buying up all the toilet paper and disinfectants, we need to stay calm. Stay away from the chaos of the crowds and don’t allow yourself to lose hope. Don’t be sucked into the fear. Even though we might be tempted to feeling alone or panicked, we mustn’t fret. God is speaking to us. Just as He always has. He is reminding us of who we are … and who we are to Trust. When the ways of man spin in turmoil or chaos, we must recollect our hearts, and hanging onto the frayed ends of our sanity we must quiet our hearts and our minds so as that we are not distracted. For it is only then, that we will encounter the peace of the Lord.
He is waiting for us with His mercy. Remember, He told St, Faustina that His heart is a well spring of Divine Mercy that He wishes to wash us with. It is a message that we cannot continue to ignore. Trusting in God’s Mercy is the only thing that will save us.
It seems that we have begun to spiral…. reeling towards the madness of a godless world. For many, there is no distinction between truth and lies. There is so much deceit in the hearts of evil men, that we don’t know what to believe about the progression of this virus. The stories of the severity of this virus seem to change from moment to moment… the news stories seem to just be stoking the flames… and rallying people into a frenzy. It is hard to believe anything you hear on the news… it feels so political so scripted and rehearsed … There is just something about all of this that feels like the truth is being hidden from the public.
You must remember, that even if is as bad as your worst fears, do not give into the temptation to be overcome with fear. Do not be afraid. The devil lives in our fears. He is a creature of opportunity, and he will come to us in those dark moments when we start to put our reliance in ourselves. Slow down and remember that God is in control. We must stop and listen to our Loving Father. We must Trust in His Love for us. And we must know, we must believe that He will never abandon us to the world. He will be the strength we need to get us through these coming days.
I’d like to finish with the closing prayer of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, it is one of my favorites and has gotten me through those dark hours of night when it seems the morning sun will never come. Stay strong my friends, and remember, your strength is of the Lord.
Eternal God, in Whom Mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible,
look kindly upon us and increase Your Mercy in us,
so that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent,
but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy Will,
Which is Love and Mercy Itself. Amen.