By: Fr. Henry Bocala
The pandemic is a unique, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of us. Covid-19 has brought the world to a standstill and has raised big questions in our lives. How long is this going to last? What happens to my business or work? And the schooling of my children? Is it going to be safe out there when the lockdown is lifted? After all these, what’s the ending balance, what’s my future?
It’s normal to mull over events that directly affect our lives. We naturally worry about future uncertainties. Anything that poses a threat, alters our routine, changes our lifestyles or limits our freedom tends to agitate us and throws us off balance. Inability to realize our plans can trigger anger, frustration, discouragement or rebellion.
It’s not surprising that we react, what’s wrong is we over-react. An anxious mind blows up the crisis and conjures up all sorts of bleak scenarios. “What if I get infected?” “What if the vaccine fails?” “What if I run out of money?” And a thousand other “what ifs” that cripple us and drain our energy.
Of course, we need to be prudent and that includes wearing mask, keeping social distance and washing our hands. That also includes making plans to get back on our feet once the storm has passed: jump-start our business, seek new employment, resume school, etc. For the rest, pray and beg the Lord to end this global catastrophe! A safe rule of thumb is do whatever is in our power and leave the rest in the hands of God.
We often make a mountain out of a molehill. “Millions of men and women today lead ‘lives of quiet desperation.’ They are panicky, worried, neurotic, fearful, and frustrated,” so says Fulton Sheen. “And frustration results from a failure that has occurred or a failure in prospect or imagined.”
Have you ever wondered how such a tiny microbe as corona virus can set off a chain of social upheavals? In like manner, have you ever wondered why Jesus’ said that faith as small as the grain of a mustard seed can move mountains? (Lk 17:6, Mt 21:21)
We’re not turning a blind eye on the reality of evil, much less adopt a do-nothing approach, fruit of a fatalistic, come-what-may mindset. The fact is a trial Covid-19 vaccine being developed by leading drug and biotech firms are showing positive results. These, plus hundreds of other studies being rushed to save the world from the plague, are not purely the work of health experts – God “collaborates” with them in mysterious ways. At the end of the day, He is the One who heals us.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink. Is not life more than food? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Mt 6:25-31)
Jesus knows what you’re going through right now. He is not aloof nor indifferent to our sufferings. If He didn’t really care about us, we didn’t have to wait for Covid-19 to suffer untold misfortunes. That you’re reading this short article means that you’re up and about, alive and kicking, lucid and breathing. And these are enough reasons to thank God. So stop sulking and despairing. Just be patient and wait a little more. Learn to trust God Almighty! Pray for those in the frontlines, the hidden heroes and people in pain. Smile, do good, be productive and serve.
The Lord has kept you safe and sane, so you have reason to hope.