One of my most moving experiences was some time after 9/11, when the ruins were still piled high, but had stopped smouldering, recovery of bodies was underway, and I, at the request of a New York Firefighter friend, brother of my heart really, had come down to New York, for he wanted me to be with him so he could return to that place of horror, and heroism, to grieve.
It is the evening of the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord, the day when our Saviour leapt down from heaven, to become one of us, to be forever with us as our Divine Lover and Redeemer.
In the midst of the horror and death of 9/11, babies were born. During the polio epidemic when I was a boy, babies were born, not just babies, human beings, beloved children of God.
During this pandemic more human beings are being born throughout the world.
Spring is here – though this far north it is still an expectation as the cold winds and snow on the ground attest.
Soon even this far north the farmers will return to the fields and the cycle of new planting leading to new harvests will begin again. As the weather warms the song birds, the ducks, the geese will return and soon little birds, ducks, geese will be born and myriads of other little creatures as well.
Trees will bud and leaf, flowers will grow and bees will be nourished and make sweet honey, springs and rivers will break free of the ice and delight us with their bubbling sounds that all is made new and all will be well.
Spring showers will come and with them the marvel of rainbows and a reminder of our Heavenly Father’s promise never to destroy humanity again with a flood, indeed, never to destroy us at all, not even with COVID-19.
Soon we will enter Holy Week and rediscover again the truth our Father so loves us He sent His only Son to suffer, die, rise from the dead to redeem us, revealing once more we are indeed beloved.
Jesus promises He is with us always, so not a one of us is ever alone.
True, our emotions may lie to us and say we are alone, but the truth is we are not.
In this time of the new normal we should reach out to the lonely, the isolated, be creative in doing so while keeping ‘social distance’, a better term would be to keep ‘charitable distance’, for in truth it is an act of love, a act of being a true child of God with all His other children, our brothers and sisters in this human family.
Today and everyday this pandemic may last new human beings are being born, just like Jesus was born among us. Every new human being is gift, is hope.
Anyone who has ever held a baby knows babies look at you with absolute trust and love.
Life is stronger than any virus because as children of God we have immortal souls.
Lots of things can kill the body.
Nothing can kill us for death is, thanks to Jesus’ death and resurrection, merely a threshold to be crossed into everlasting life.
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. [Jn.10:10]
As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in My love……I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My commandment: love one another as I love you. [Jn. 15:9 & 11,12]
We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and will possess life. [Heb. 10:39]
© 2020 Fr. Arthur Joseph