It’s really simple actually, if Mary is the mother of Jesus, she is also the mother of all those who bear his name as Christians. Mother of Christ = mother of Christians. All those who were baptized into Christ have become his brothers and sisters. If that’s the case, we have the same spiritual mother, Mary.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God becomes our Father just as he is the Father for the Son. That is why Jesus tells his Apostles that they should no longer ask him to pray to the Father because they themselves can ask him. In other words, our relationship to the Father is, by grace, the same relationship that Jesus has with him by nature. So too, his mother has become our mother. We are rooted in Christ, one with him.
At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples at the Upper Room gathered together with Mary. He overshadowed them, just as he overshadowed her. Christ was conceived at the Annunciation, and he was conceived in his Members at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit equips and sends us forth as Jesus into the world. It can be understood then, that we are Jesus.
At the Cross, Jesus gave his mother to his beloved disciples. At the Cross, the side of Christ was opened and blood and water flowed out, symbolizing the Church emanating out of the side of Christ the new Adam, just as Eve came forth from the side of Adam.
Christ and his Church are united as one, as a bridegroom with his bride form one flesh. All people are called to this fellowship, to be incorporated into the Church, beloved by God. The One Church of Jesus Christ is Universal, made up of people from around the world.
With all that in mind, here is an image I want to share today on the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church. It’s called Our Lady of Wisdom, painted by a Christian Indian artist. I’ve had it for years but I found it recently and am looking for a place to put it in my room.
The image, while not the typical image of Mater Ecclesia, Mother of the Church, think, the mosaic at the Vatican, does have some connections to the feast day, I think:
Lotus flowers are symbolic of purity and wisdom. Not only do they symbolize the Immaculata, in addition to the crescent moon symbolizing her, they also symbolize wisdom. Jesus is Wisdom Incarnate, the Logos, the Reason who orders the Universe. Mary is the mother of Jesus, the mother of Wisdom.
Through the powerful intercession of the Mother of God, we can receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in abundance. We desperately need the Holy Spirit right now, with his Sevenfold Gifts, especially Wisdom, in order to be Jesus for a hurting society and world starved for him.
This life has the sense of being buried with Christ… We experience all the limitations of our mortality and have yet to experience resurrection with Christ.
Even in the midst of the Easter Season in which we rejoice for the victory of Jesus Christ over death, in the anticipation of our own sharing in that victory on the last day, in many ways it still feels like Holy Saturday. The feeling is even more pronounced because of continuation of the coronavirus plague.
So, here we are in the tomb of this life, with Jesus. Sealed, as it were, in the cold stone tomb. But it’s not bad to be aware of it. The idea of being “in the tomb,” understood in this way, is good for silence. God speaks in the silence. His voice can be better heard now. That’s one of the reasons why I think that great good will come out this present situation in time, and why God may be allowing this. We can already see it at work. Isaiah 43:19. Back in the middle of March, it occurred to me that it was in the silence that the prodigal son, “came to his senses.” (Luke 15:17).
When I heard the words that we hear every Ash Wednesday reminding us that “thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return,” I had no clue how real and tangible these words would become. We are constantly confronted with the fragility of life, the realization that we are just dust and will return to dust.
Just a few days after that Wednesday,, I was faced with a reminder ofHow fleeting life can be. A newNurse was working with me one morning. When changing my T-shirt, a small valve opening on the front of the tracheostomy got snagged and opened. Air began to escape and a sense of panic came over me as I thought that this nurse would not be able to detect because of the problem. To my dread, I was correct – – he had no idea what was wrong. The opening was so small and the shirt, still on me, obscured it. He couldn’t see it. To make things worse, it wasn’t a total leak of air and so the alarm didn’t go off. my being able to speak, I mouthed the words, “call mom.” Thankfully he understood but he didn’t really make much effort to do this. Suddenly the guy decides that I need to be suctioned. I know that if this is attempted – – if an increase of air is not given, if the loss of air increases, I will surely pass out. So as the nurse holds the suction catheter and gets close, I’m thinking, “this is it. It’s all over for me.” Seconds before he is about to disconnect my tracheostomy tube to suction me, my eyes are watering and everything is starting to get hazy. I looked up at the picture of Jesus the Divine Mercy and asked him, “is this how it ends?” Right then, my mom opened the door and walked in. Almost immediately, she detected the problem and closed the valve and I could breathe easy, literally. Needless to say this particular nurse will not be working for me again.
I almost had a similarly life threatening situation again . Secretions of mucus blocked my airway and I couldn’t speak. The nurse Y was working, filling in for W (who, wouldn’t you know it, was exposed to someone who has had potential contact with somebody with coronavirus), paused after suctioning me once. I couldn’t speak to tell her to quickly suction again to clear the plug. After making efforts of nodding my head to indicate to go in again, she suctioned out the plug which was thick and yellow-green (sorry).
Anyway, these near brushes with death are nothing new.
“Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag′dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.”
– John 20:1
Even though it may be dark outside, Jesus has truly risen from the dead. It was in the darkness that he rose. They thought that his grave was robbed – – and the grave actually was robbed, but he was the robber! When a grave was robbed, the burial clothes were taken and the body left in the tomb but now the body was gone and the burial clothes were left behind. The soldiers guarding the tomb fell like dead men and the dead man was raised to life (Mt. 24:8). St. Mary Magdalene mistook Jesus for the gardener but he really was the gardener (Jn. 20:15). He’s the one that planted the garden of Eden and did what Adam failed to do. He’s the new Adam who makes all things new. He’s the strong one who plundered the devil and tied him up (Mk 3:27). Anyone who lives in him is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
So even though it may look dark outside and sin, suffering, and death are all around they are all a bunch of shadows without any real power. Christ entered into all of it, all the way to the depths, entering into jaws of death itself breaking its teeth. It’s already a done deal – – all the stupid plagues and illnesses, all the brokenness, it’s all been defeated. Anyway, there is hope because once he was dead and is now alive.
That’s pretty much all I want to say right now. Happy Easter everybody! It’s not about pastel colors and fluffy rabbits who lay chocolate eggs.
Death has lost its power…We may still experience death but we know that we will rise and be glorified in, through, because of, and with, him who conquered it. I can’t say it better than my man St. Ephrem the Syrian:
”Death slew [the Lord Jesus] by means of the body which he had assumed, but that same body proved to be the weapon with which he conquered death. Concealed beneath the cloak of his manhood, his godhead engaged death in combat; but in slaying Our Lord, death itself was slain. It was able to kill natural life, but was itself killed by the life that is above the nature of man.
Death could not devour Our Lord unless he possessed a body, neither could hell swallow him up unless he bore our flesh; and so he came in search of a chariot in which to ride to the underworld. This chariot was the body which he received from the Virgin; in it he invaded death’s fortress, broke open its strong room and scattered all its treasures.
At length he came upon Eve, the mother of all the living. She was the vineyard whose enclosure her own hands had enabled death to violate, so that she could taste its fruit; thus the mother of all the living became the source of death for every living creature. But in her stead Mary grew up, a new vine in place of the old. Christ, the new life, dwelt within her. When death, with its customary impudence, came foraging for her mortal fruit, it encountered its own destruction in the hidden life which that fruit contained. All unsuspecting, it swallowed him up, and in so doing, released life itself and set free a multitude of men.
He who was also the carpenter’s glorious son set up his cross above death’s all consuming jaws, and led the human race into the dwelling place of life. Since a tree had brought about the downfall of mankind, it was upon a tree that mankind crossed over to the realm of life.”
This evening is the beginning of Sacred Paschal Triduum, the holiest 3 days of the year in which the mystery of the Passion, Death and Resurrection are made present. We can actually enter into it. Holy Thursday is when Jesus instituted the Eucharist:
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
– John 6:51
It’s not just the night when Jesus washed the stinking feet of Galilean fishermen – – he ordained them as priests to perpetuate the events of these 3 days and to make him available to us.
It’s easy to feel abandoned by God at this time this year but he doesn’t abandon us – – he gives himself to us, whole and entire, body and blood, soul and Divinity. I think this plague allows the opportunity to really appreciate what – – who – – we take for granted so often. Jesus is there under the appearance of bread and wine. But we cannot receive him at this time. God even uses that.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Love increases so that when it’s possible to receive him, people will be even more on fire and appreciate the treasure they have. Far, far greater is his longing for us. “And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15).
I believe that God has allowed our inability to partake of the flesh of the Lamb in order that our appreciation and devotion for the Holy Eucharist may grow exponentially especially at a time when so many don’t believe. I’m thinking of the recent poll of Catholics in which a majority said that they didn’t believe in the real, substantial, actual presence of Jesus Christ. That piece of bread, that drop of wine, it’s transformed entirely in substance so totally that it’s no longer bread and wine!
While it’s not the same thing, it’s good to make spiritual communions, asking the one who marked us with his own blood, to give us his heart tissue. We can’t love our neighbor as he loves us without his gift to us. That’s why we have to continually ask him to give himself to us. Not to do so is to risk remaining in Egypt.
This night Christ begins the Exodus of the human race from slavery of sin and death – – the real plague, and the cause of every plague. The cosmic battle begins. The blood of the Lamb delivers us from eternal destruction.
Thoughts on Gospel Reading for Holy Monday, John 12:1 – 11:
Today Jesus was invited to dinner by his friends, Martha, Mary and Lazarus, siblings. It had to be a joyous evening that flowed from a deep gratitude: their brother Lazarus was physically once dead and now is alive because Jesus raised him from the dead!
The ointment, aromatic nard, must’ve been a very precious possession. Mary doesn’t put a price on it because Jesus is worth infinitely more. She anoints the feet of Jesus with the ointment and dries his feet with her hair. What generosity and love! The fragrance of it permeated the house (in contrast with the stench of corruption from the dead body of Lazarus just a few days earlier!) Usually, the honored dinner guest has their feet washed with plain water, and one of the lowest servants is relegated with task. Mary’s gesture was prophetic, a preparation for his burial, in advance. But Judas isn’t having it.
It wasn’t just Jesus who invited, the disciples were there as well. Judas protests that the ointment could have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor. But that’s because he was thief who helped himself to the moneybag which he was in charge of. He was thinking in terms of dollars and cents for his own benefit and not for the poor. “How can I profit from this?” Giving to the poor was just an excuse that he threw out there to mask his true intention – – and if the ointment was sold, he would’ve stolen from the poor!
It’s interesting what Jesus says about it – – I think it’s a reverse way of saying, “whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me.” If whatever you do for the poor, you do for Jesus then whatever you do for Jesus, the Divine Person himself, right before you, you do for the poor. Jesus is that inextricably united to the poor. What Jesus seems to be saying is that, “you will always have me in the person of the poor, but you will not always have me in person – – as I am now before you.” And so he consented to Mary’s anointing and praised her for it.
Mary of Bethany didn’t count the cost, no expense was too much, nothing was too extravagant – – because she knew who it was in her midst. As for Judas, he did not value Jesus in the least, putting a price on him: 30 pieces of silver. He couldn’t see Jesus for who he was. And that brings him to the betrayal. He sold Jesus out to people who wanted to kill Lazarus after Jesus raised from the dead, which was the greatest of his works so far attesting that he was Messiah and Lord God.
It was sad to watch (not just watch, but remotely participate in, prayerfully and with as much reverent attention as possible) – – the Mass for Palm Sunday.
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Many feel abandoned at this time. Why has God allowed us to be plunged into this darkness? As I watched, I thought about the suffering that Christ went through. We must go the way that the Master went. If he suffered how can we be exempt? The Church is the Body of Christ. If the Head suffers, the Body suffers as well. God has allowed the Members of Christ to actively participate – – not just theoretically, but actually, concretely and experientially in the sufferings of Christ. We feel it. We enter into it. But if we share in the sufferings of Christ, we will certainly share in his glorious resurrection from death. It turns out that he really is the victorious king. Psalm 22, that Jesus also prays on our behalf), which begins with the words, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” ends in praise of God, “for he not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.”
From beginning to end, the Bible is the story of God’s love for the pinnacle of his creation: man and woman (of course this refers to humanity in general, including children). The Bible is a collection of books spanning multiple literary genres from narrative to poetry – – but it still tells one story, if read in its context as a comprehensive whole. It’s the story of God’s love which has no bounds, even when it is rejected – – and that happens a lot – – he keeps offering it again. That’s basically how to read the whole thing: cycles of fall and restoration, exile and return. Ultimately, return will be definitive and permanent.
God created man, meaning the human race, out of love. Not only that, he wishes to dwell with the human race as a friend wants to be where the friend is. Love is not satisfied with anything else. And God himself is essentially love itself. We are created by love, for love. That’s the meaning of the Bible.
Throughout 2019, I was taking a course of 2 semester long classes on the Old and New Testaments. It was offered by the Institute of Catholic Culture (ICC) which exists to educate and instruct adults in the Catholic faith through an entire curriculum of teaching that covers philosophy, literature, history, the modern world, and Scripture. Good stuff. And it’s all completely free! I’ve learned a lot from the ICC, and the recent course has been no exception! It was taught by Father Sebastian, a very gifted Scripture teacher and Byzantine Catholic priest. I learned a lot from him, and from the book that supplemented our reading of the Bible, Walking with God, by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins.
The Scripture course really put the prohibition against idolatry and the event of the exile into Babylon into a new perspective for me. In Exodus and the books following, God repeats the commandment to have no other gods beside him and to love him with all of one’s heart, mind, and strength. All the other commandments and even the dietary and ceremonial laws of the Mosaic covenant, have this as the heart and source. It all comes down to this. As Father Sebastian would always point out, ultimately God doesn’t care if you put bacon and cheese on your burger. The practices of the kosher laws were intended to keep the people’s hearts pure. Surrounding pagan cultures had their own ways of doing things, and Israel was to avoid imitating them so as not to worship falsely as they did. The people of Israel (not the modern State) were to be set apart for God, in order to act as a light, God’s instrument for reaching and winning over the other nations. Israel was to be the older brother, leading his siblings to know and love their Father. It wasn’t some kind of superiority complex, “look at us, we’re better than you,” etc. Israel was not meant to be like everyone else, but to be holy as God himself is holy. If they lived like everyone else, how could the other nations come to know and love God? The worst thing then would be idolatry, rejecting God as the only one who could lead to man’s fulfillment and flourishing.
There were many warnings against idolatry, especially in Deuteronomy which contained a whole section of curses and punishments that fall upon the people if they were to abandon faith in God and engage in pagan practices of worship. In short, they would lose it all. They would be lost and lose their inheritance, and ultimately end up in captivity again.
Unfortunately, in the history of salvation, there was a lot of backsliding. Even shortly after their liberation from Egypt, some of the people longed to go back. Kind of like Stockholm syndrome, missing their captors. That’s why they wanted to worship the golden calf, it reminded them of Egypt, where the false god Aphis, depicted as a bull, was worshiped. Animal sacrifice was instituted as a means for the people to make a break from this false worship of animals. Destroying sin.
The Establishment of King and Temple
When the Israelites regained the land of Canaan or Palestine, they had to continually ward off the other neighboring people to preserve their way of life and worship rightly. Often, the people would slide into the behaviors of their neighbors instead of being the lights God intended them to be. They were like children tossed to and fro. Although they knew the law of God, they failed to keep it.
After Some time of settling the land, and being led by various judges (see the Book of Judges), the people of Israel desired to have a king rule over them just like the other nations around them. The reality was that God had been king over them all along, nevertheless, God granted their request through the prophet Samuel who anointed Saul as their 1st king. However Saul committed acts of disobedience towards God and David was raised up in his stead. All the 12 tribes of Israel accepted him and he was anointed king over them all.
The Greek word behind “Good News,” is loaded with meaning, the heralding or announcing of the victory of the king. Whenever a king and his army were successful in battle, the news of his triumph and exploits went before him and the people were all to celebrate. Even though that Israel requested a king while God was their king all along, God granted the request and would work through the human king as his representative. So there were 2 kings, the Divine King and the human king. And everything was just great because the king and the people worshiped and served God as he deserves. Well – – maybe for a little while. Thus began the Golden age of Israel.
Prior to this time, God dwelt among his people in the form of the great glory cloud, or Shekinah. His presence was within the Tent of Meeting which Moses constructed for the nomadic people. This illustrates just how much God desires to dwell among his people and be their God. The glory cloud was a visible manifestation and reminder of this. Eventually, a Temple was built to house the Ark of the Covenant over which the Shekinah rested upon. God dwelt among the people with his presence as a great cloud of glory in the Holy of Holies of the Temple in Jerusalem.
The Downfall Begins
King David, The Anointed or “Christ,” (as all anointed kings were known, including Saul), flawed like the rest of humanity, but humble and righteous before God, was promised that his kingdom would last forever (2 Samuel 7). His son Solomon, even though he actually built the Temple, began introducing the false worship of foreign “gods” through his marriage alliances. Ironically, this wise man became a fool building shrines to idols worshiped by his pagan wives. These interactions with other nations were forbidden because they ultimately lead to worshiping as they worship, as proved to be the case with King Solomon. Because of harsher policies enacted by King Solomon’s son Rehoboam , the kingdom splintered into the Northern kingdom of Israel with its capital of Samaria, and the Southern kingdom of the tribe of Judah that preserved the line of David and valid temple worship in Jerusalem (although they had their share of bad kings.
The northern kingdom completely apostatized from the beginning and abandoned God through their practices of syncretism, blending into paganism (because of people like the wicked king Ahab and his wife Jezebel), and eventually were taken into captivity by the Assyrians. Prophets, Elijah, Elisha, Hosea, and Amos warned them but they didn’t listen. And so, these 10 tribes of Israel were dispersed and assimilated into other cultures (722 A.D.). The poor people who remained intermarried with pagan tribes from other lands conquered by Assyria and sent to settle the land. Eventually, these people became the Samaritans. That was the end of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
While they had a better track record, the Kingdom of King David in the southern part of Palestine fell into grave apostasy as well. People were worshiping false gods, especially those worshiped in Babylon. Prophets such as Isaiah in the beginning and Jeremiah towards the end (i’m getting there), warned them to repent to no avail. Even the kings, the worst of whom was King Manasseh who sacrificed his own children to Molech, fell into serious idolatry. But that was kind of a cycle. There were good kings such as Hezekiah and the great-grandson of Manasseh, Josiah. However, when the last good king died, Josiah, it was too late… destruction was already set in motion, In about 586 BC, the rising Empire of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar completely devastated the land of Judah. The last king of the House of David, Zedekiah, saw his sons murdered right in front of his eyes before he was blinded and led off in chains. This ended the Davidic dynasty and it seemed that the promise that the kingdom would last forever came to a screeching halt.
The Temple with all its splendor and beauty, the place which housed God’s own Presence, was brought to the ground. The people had taken the Temple of the Lord for granted and believed that no destruction would overtake Jerusalem. All the while, they lived however they pleased and in a sense, cheated on God to whom reading they belonged. Shortly before its destruction, the prophet Ezekiel had seen a vision in which the Glory Cloud, the Shekinah, the manifestation of God among his people since the time of the Exodus, which hovered over the Ark of the Covenant, just up and left the Temple. And then it was brought to the ground.
The people of Judah, the remnants of the 12 tribes of Israel found themselves in a foreign land (because they forfeited their own through disobedience and idolatry. All of Jerusalem was completely decimated and they lost their human king as well as the Divine king whose presence left them. And so ended the glory that the people had been given by God, and they lost it all – – the warnings and curses of Deuteronomy came to pass because they rejected God.
15 The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. 16 The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned! 17 For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim, 18 for Mount Zion which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it.
19 But thou, O Lord, dost reign for ever; thy throne endures to all generations. 20 Why dost thou forget us for ever, why dost thou so long forsake us? 21 Restore us to thyself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old! 22 Or hast thou utterly rejected us? Art thou exceedingly angry with us?
It almost feels as if the zombie apocalypse is upon us and the sky is falling. Everything seems so dark and silent. Everything has changed in such a short amount of time and nothing will ever be the same. There are a lot of things that we could be anxious about right now. I’m concerned about the havoc that the coronavirus is wreaking, especially the suffering and death caused around the world because of it. About more than 6000 people have died in Italy, probably about double then in China where the first cases occurred. Anyway, it must be taken seriously in order to be eliminated. Every precaution must be taken, social distancing – – a term I’ve never heard before – – is crucial. Social media distancing might be a good thing as well, avoiding all this news about the catastrophe. Well maybe in moderation because it’s so important to know what’s going on, and of course there are so many great things happening through the availability of live streamed prayers, above all, the Holy Mass.
There is hope and light amidst the darkness. I truly believe that incredibly great things will come forth from this, which I will try to elaborate on later, God willing. Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation and I was compelled to share a few words about it on Facebook, so I share them here as well:
The suffering and deaths of people around the world due to the coronavirus really brings the value of life to focus. Today, March 25, is the great solemnity of the Annunciation when Life itself, through whom we have life, was conceived in the womb of 1 of his creatures. Because Mary said yes, Jesus came into the world to share in our humanity, to live among us, to suffer with us and lift us up that we might share in his Divinity. Even though it looks dark, there is light because the Light shone – – and shines no matter what.
I also recorded a short video clip even though it goes against my nature as painfully introverted! Will add it here as an update…
Today there are no signs of the things commonly associated with St. Patrick’s Day such as parades, green beer, shamrocks, and leprechauns. Well, maybe shamrocks here and there but no one is around to display flashes of green and no one is around to see them. Anyway, with the lack of the symbols, mostly superficial, we are afforded the opportunity of getting to the heart of the man behind the usual celebrations of March 17.
St. Patrick is definitely a great Saint for these dark times. I woke up this morning with the words of the prayer that he is said to have written:
“I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.
I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me, God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me From snares of devils, From temptation of vices, From everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and near.
I summon today All these powers between me and those evils, Against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and soul, Against incantations of false prophets, Against black laws of pagandom, Against false laws of heretics, Against craft of idolatry, Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards, Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul; Christ to shield me today Against poison, against burning, Against drowning, against wounding, So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me […]
It’s a beautiful prayer in its entirety but I was especially thinking of these parts today in light of the current coronavirus crisis affecting the whole world. I think that it reveals a lot about Saint Patrick himself. Most powerfully, these words show us that God was the source of his strength and the One Whom he was centered on.
It was the Almighty arm of God that sustained him throughout his life, from the time he was kidnapped and taken into Ireland as a slave to the time he returned to Ireland as a Bishop of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, as an ambassador of Christ Jesus. God was watching over him and protected him from all those who wished to harm him in any way.
St. Patrick brought the light of Christ into the darkness surrounding the Emerald Isle. He stood off against the Druids who were responsible for keeping the people of Ireland shrouded in the shadows of pagan beliefs. There is the story of how he lit a bonfire in defiance of the customary lighting of fire that was always done by the Druid priests. This was done by St. Patrick who was celebrating the great Feast of the Resurrection, the Easter Vigil, when Christ conquered death. it is said that he cast out all of the snakes of the land. Whether or not he literally did this or if this is symbolic of his casting out of dark forces, you get the idea of what a force he was. And so, I think we would do good to seek his intercession in this time when the pestilence of coronavirus is affecting thousands of people around the world and is responsible for the deaths of thousands.
St. Patrick, may we trust in God as the source of our strength. In the name of Jesus Christ, help to guard against anything that could cometo harm us, especially this virus.
God willing, I hope to be back here with some more thoughts.