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Deacon-structing the COVID Spring, Part 5: Hope

Deacon Pedro

Monday, July 13, 2020

Photo by Grant Ritchie on Unsplash
This morning, after four months of the COVID Spring, I woke up sad.
It struck me that I don’t think I had felt sad throughout this whole experience. But today I woke up with a heavy heart. I felt unmotivated and a bit lost. I thought that perhaps it was that I was getting tired of this. Four weeks ago, I started this reflection by saying that I like to refer to this time as the “COVID Spring” because of the opportunities for new beginnings and hope. Today I don’t feel like it’s Spring anymore.
Today felt, as I explained last week, like I was in the desert.
Three weeks ago, we spoke about how God always makes things new, and two weeks ago, we considered the idea that all creation praises the Lord. Today I don’t feel like praising, and I feel like God better start making all things new soon!
That had been my prayer during Lent. I told God that it would be awesome if, on Easter Sunday, the virus would magically disappear. I even told God how to do it: Starting at the first sign of dawn, as the sun rises over every time zone, when the rays of the sun hit the Earth, the virus would slowly be eradicated. All those who were sick would be healed, and there would be no COVID trace left on the Earth. Then the world would know that Jesus is Lord of all creation, that God has dominion over everything. There would be skeptics, of course, but so many would come to believe.
So many would come to experience the words of John 13:33: “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
Needless to say, Easter came and went, and here we are two months later, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
And I feel ashamed to admit that I am just feeling the heaviness now. How about all the people – the millions – who began to feel that heaviness right away because they have it much, much worse that I do?
And here I take heart from the many Scripture verses that we heard during the Easter Season:
"My trust is in the Lord; I will rejoice and be glad of your mercy" (Psalm 31).
"May God have mercy on us and bless us; may He let his face shine upon us" (Psalm 67).
"Remain in me as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me" (John 15:4).
“Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (John 14:1).
These verses give me strength and comfort.
During the Easter Season, I led you through a reflection on the Book of Acts. If there is one thing that I learned from that reflection it is that struggles, fears, doubts, troubles, and yes, even darkness, did not disappear with the Resurrection.
Scripture tells us that Jesus was with the disciples for 40 days after his Resurrection, and every time during those days, the disciples experienced fear, confusion, and doubt.
And so, I prayed again: “Wouldn’t it be great if this virus would magically disappear on Pentecost....”
Needless to say, our human condition does not end with the coming of the Holy Spirit. What changes is our ability to recognize that we are not alone and that we now have access to power from on high. This is not a power to perform miracles (although it can be) but a power to transform the world with a message of hope.
Our experience of the physical human condition does not change – not until death. Our spiritual human condition changes with Baptism (as we heard in the readings two weeks ago), and we can say that we are transformed by the Holy Spirit, but our experience of the fallen world does not magically change. There will always be poverty, pain, divorce, disease, tragedies, disasters, afflictions, and abuse. There will always be greed, pride, insecurities, and fears. Our human condition is fallen.
But Jesus Christ has conquered the world!
St. Peter writes in his first letter that we should “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for your reason for your hope” (1 Peter 3:15).
This COVID Spring has taught me that there is always hope.
There is always Spring.
Jesus Christ has conquered the world!

Every week, Deacon Pedro takes a particular topic apart, not so much to explore or explain the subject to its fullness, but rather to provide insights that will deepen our understanding of the subject. And don’t worry, at the end of the day he always puts the pieces back together. There are no limits to deaconstructing: Write to him and ask any questions about the faith or Church teaching: [email protected]

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