Who’s in Charge Here, Anyway?
It feels as though we are in uncharted waters. Certainly in the lifetime of most of us we cannot recall experiencing a time such as this. We have heard of pestilences such as ebola and have shuddered to consider what people on the other side of the world have experienced. But it never happened here!
Here in the U.S. A. we had things under control. We are the most prosperous, most technologically advanced nation in the world. Sure we had our challenges, but still, we had things under control.
Then a tiny little new virus comes along. It was named corona for its shape. Isn’t that cute? It begins by bringing the proud dictatorship of China to its knees. That was too bad. Then it started making its way to other places. It really began disrupting our travel plans. How inconsiderate of that tiny little pest!
The virus continued its persistent assault until it arrived on our hallowed shores—without a visa! And we began to discover that we were just as vulnerable as the rest of the world had been. No amount of technology has yet been able to hold it off. Our army, the strongest in the world, is powerless against this covert enemy.
As it drew closer and closer to our communities our concern began to grow. We began to fear for ourselves and for our loved ones. An initial reaction was to fight it by using our most vaunted weapon against human fear and suffering—we began to shop! We began to empty the stores. If we could only have all the food and toilet paper we could possibly need then we would feel better. But the truth is that no material thing is going to do it this time.
In a moment like this we know deep in our hearts that there is only One who can help us. We need a superhero. We need God to come to the rescue and fix this situation, like a genie in the bottle who will grant our wish. But where is God anyway? Why has God, if God is out there at all, allowed this to happen? And why didn’t he fix things when we asked?
Maybe we should start by not casting a blaming eye at God. Maybe we ought to start looking within. Not to say that this is caused by us. We are not that powerful. But look within to recognize the truth about ourselves—that we have lived an illusion. We, in the U.S.A., were not in control after all. Consuming would never fill the emptiness in our hearts. No amount of drugs, legal or otherwise, no amount of alcohol, no amount of food, no amount of porn or sex, no amount of money will fill that place within us that is reserved for the love of our Creator.
This world is a broken temporary place that is not our permanent home and no earthly power is going to transform it into our paradise. God is not the genie that will do that for us either.
Here we are at the end of Lent, the beginning of Easter. They are not really two distinct Seasons. They are one uninterrupted procession with our Savior through all that life can throw our way, through apparent defeat in his Crucifixion and Death, to that glorious Easter morning and beyond.
Can you see him walking through the clouds and the mist, standing upon the uncharted waters of our lives today? Can you hear him calling out to us, “Do not be afraid! I am with you!” Yes! The Risen One is in our midst. He seemed to have been defeated by the brokenness and evil present in our world. Perhaps we had an illusion that we were in charge. We had forgotten that Jesus came for a moment such as this!
Seek him now! Let us ask our Savior to help us, to walk with us, to save us. Just as for the disciples locked up in their houses in fear he will enter into our midst and say to us, “Peace be with you!”
5/7/2020 03:35:57 pm
Dear Bishop Seitz, thank you for your healing words throughout this chaos. I agree with you and I firmly believe that the Lord our God will see us through this pandemic. However, we are forgetting one main issue, our Parishes remain closed. By keeping our Parishes closed we are being denied of the one true essential fount of life. We are being deprived of the main feeding source of our faith and hope. It is as if we have completely forgotten Who is truly present in the Tabernacles of the world. With our Parishes closed we are "hiding" like the Apostles, but because we have forgotten the unerring power of the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. When He appeared to His Apostles, He told them to not be afraid and to not doubt. Luke 24: 36-43 He commanded them to spread the Good News. He told them that the Holy Spirit would come to give them strength and guide them. John 20:19-25. We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments just like the Apostles. He also said to Peter various times "Feed my lambs”, “Take care of my sheep", "Feed my sheep". John 21: 15-17. I for one, I am longing for our Lord and I know that others are too. Parishes need to open so that we can permit our Lord to start the much-needed healing that this world is aching for. Now more than ever, we need not to deny, but truly acknowledge Jesus’ True Presence in the Eucharistic.
11/15/2020 11:04:36 am
HOW DARE YOU CLOSE OUR CHURCH AGAIN!!!! YOU ARE A WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING!!!!! YOU ARE A COWARD FOR HIDING IN FEAR!!!! YOU LET US DIE WITHOUT THE SACRAMENTS!!!!!!! YOUR NOT A SHEPARD YOU ARE THE ENEMY BY TAKING AWAY OUR BREAD OF LIFE!!!!!!!
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Most Rev. Mark J. Seitz