A MESSAGE FROM FR. GREGORY:
It’s important for us to keep our perspective in the midst of all these announcements from civil and church authorities. The precautions we are instructed to follow should not induce panic. They do not mean that we are all going to die. They are simply measures so that the virus can be contained. Keep in mind also, that, whereas there have been some fatalities from this virus, far more people have recovered. So these measures are in place so that hospitals do not get glutted and thus impact the quality of care that can be given to those with the virus.
In the Mass we hear Jesus say to us every time we gather around the table, “This is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant…” Jesus has bound Himself to us through a new covenant. He is faithful, He will never abandon us, He is always with us. As the Preface for the First Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation prays to God our Father, “ You have bound the human family to yourself through Jesus your Son, our Redeemer, with a new bond of love so tight that it can never be undone.”
In our first reading for today’s Mass, the Third Sunday of Lent, the question the Israelites posed was, “Is the Lord with us, or not?” All of our Scriptures today give testimony that the answer to that question is yes, He is with us. That is why His name is Emanuel, which means “God with us”. He was with the Israelites in the desert and gave them water from the rock. As Saint Paul says in our second reading, in his letter to the Romans, God has poured out His love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. He proves His love for us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And to a woman who is ostracized, broken, and alone, Jesus offers the gift of living water. The Lord who would not abandon this woman to her loneliness and marginalization is certainly not going to abandon us.