Lent IV

Reflection for March 22, 2020

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you! We certainly need it as we face the deprivation of some of the important things that sustain us and as we find different ways to meet and nourish our spiritual, emotional, and even material needs. Though everyday is an opportunity to depend on Jesus, the Good Shepherd, times like this highlight the need for his constant care and guidance.

When I was in Texas a few weeks ago, I had the chance to attend a performance of Come From Away in San Antonio. Though it has been playing in Toronto for quite some time, it took a trip to Texas for me to finally see it! The packed house really enjoyed the musical even though I wondered at times how many of them got the references to Tim Hortons and “Shoppers” like a Canadian (or at least someone living in Canada) would! Though not everyone would have understood some of the small details, I doubt anyone missed the message of the power of kindness and generosity in the midst of a crisis.

The people of Gander, Newfoundland, responded with great love to the thousands of people whose planes were diverted there on September 11, 2001. That the people of that little town were able to accomplish as much good as they did with the resources they had is a reminder to never underestimate the power of those who might appear small or insignificant. We hear a similar message in the first reading about the call of David, the youngest and least likely of Jesse’s sons to be chosen by God, but the one chosen to accomplish great things as king. God sees and knows our potential to do great things, particularly when we all work together to carry out God’s will.

Learning to see as God sees is something that we are called to do as we strive to “live as children of light” (Ephesians 5.8) and something that we pray will happen for catechumens preparing for Baptism. It is what the people of Gander demonstrated as they faced an extremely challenging situation. They saw the needs before them and addressed them by giving of themselves and putting aside differences to take care of those who were fearful, far from home, and facing great uncertainty. They helped to bring light into the darkness of others’ lives and show what humanity is capable when it is at its best.

As the human family around the world faces the debilitating effects of COVID-19, how might we see with God’s eyes and respond accordingly in faith? Maybe we need Jesus to touch our eyes and correct our vision as he did for the blind man in the Gospel. As we all struggle together to figure out how to live in this current situation, may we learn to see in new ways that lead us to support and pray for those who are sick, their caregivers, and those feeling tired, isolated, and alone. Let us never underestimate what is possible when we allow the power of God’s love to work powerfully through us.

Be assured of my prayers for you daily.

Blessings,

Fr. Morgan