It has been almost one year living in a global pandemic reality. The physical isolation resulting from the cautious distancing of human contact along with the strange and ominous mask wearing is taking a toll on our sense of community. Also, the news of many people becoming seriously ill and dying has included friends and loved ones and are not just anonymous numbers listed in mortality charts. Recently reports of more infectious variants of the pathogen making their way around the world are competing with stories of armies of medical workers vaccinating masses of people everyday in the hope of providing some protection from the viral spread of disease and death. I ask myself, am I anxious in the face of these things? How does my faith respond to the challenges these times present? Historical accounts of similar times such as Boccaccio’s Decameron describe scenes of societal distress with accompanying civil unrest, and violence. As current events show, we are not immune to these same effects.
Entering into the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday we are reminded anew of the certainty of our mortality and our need to repent and believe the Gospel. These words may sound in our ears differently this year. These are times of testing. Will my faith survive the trial? God have mercy!