Most of us spend our lives completely oblivious about death, and especially our own death.
Death is an almost mythic circumstance or result that happens in movies, video games, and on TV. Even in our own lives, death is sanitized and swept under the carpet as to seem like someone has gone on a once in a lifetime cruise. Thus “celebration of life” has replaced the funeral. But that doesn’t change the reality, we all will die, Lord have mercy!
The tragedy of our fallen nature is that we are born mortal. It lies dormant in our DNA, it is around the corner, it faces us with those who are angry and insane, abusive, and evil. No one knows when we will die. The thing about the scale and global impact of this virus, is that it shatters the illusion that we will one day ride into the sunset. Sadly not true for any of us.
Christians have to remember, remember and remember, that we have died to this world, to its power, pride, riches, and glory (none of which will save us from death). If we have died to this world in baptism, the words of St. Paul (who knew a thing or two about life and death) ring loud and true.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.(Rm. 8:18-21). And “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:“For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Rm. 8:35-39)
It is Christ who lies sick with those afflicted with the Covid 19 virus. It is Christ who works with those caring for them. It is Christ who has conquered death by His death, and has shared that victory with those who have cast their hope on him saying, “Lord save me” (Mt. 14:10).
This virus, if anything, should thrust us to His saving love, and highlight our affirmation in His words “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33)
May the Lord bless our caution and actions, and bring about the end of this sickness, and profoundly, His Kingdom promised to us without cost or measure.