“Be a Light” by Sherinrose Alex, Fiat Ventures

Michael Kowalczyk

4th Sunday of Lent

These last few days, right after I wake up, I find myself reaching for my phone and reading up on the most up to date news of the COVID-19 situation. As I write this, schools are closed, businesses are closed, people are being asked to quarantine, and now, Masses are not being celebrated for the public in many dioceses. Grocery store lines are extremely long and supplies are running out. Americans are fearful of losing their jobs as a result of the quarantine rules and procedures. After scrolling for minutes and realizing that there is no clear end in sight, I sometimes find myself feeling like this world is stepping into a ‘darkness’. When do things start to go back to normal?

After spending some time in reflection, I began to realize that many people, including myself, have become so concerned about the coronavirus pandemic primarily because of how it can directly affect us. Rather than it being a moment of genuine care for the suffering people in the country and world, I often find myself concerned about my own health and the health of my loved ones. In today’s Gospel, we are called to shift our mindset from an inward and self-centered approach to one that is selfless and reaches outward.

It may take some time before things are restored and order is brought around the country and world. We may run short of supplies and food. Those we know may lose their jobs. Many more people may get sick, including our loves ones. As we hold onto our faith that these times shall pass, there is a question that should tug at our hearts. What did we do in these dark times to be a light and how are we changed for the better because of it?

I read a quote that brought some perspective:

“When this is over, may we never again take for granted: a handshake with a stranger, full shelves at the store, conversations with neighbors, a crowded theater, Friday night out, the taste of Communion, a routine checkup, the school rush each morning, coffee with a friend, the stadium roaring, each deep breath. A boring Tuesday. Life itself.

When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, we were called to be, we hoped to be and may we stay that way – better for each other because of the worst” – Laura Kelly Fannucci

Let us take it upon ourselves to be light in the darkness. As people are fighting for the last carton of milk or their spot in the check-out line, let us look around and see who is in need of help. We can check in on a elderly neighbor who may be struggling to get groceries. We can share positive words of encouragement to those who are near and dear to us. We can spend time praying for healthcare workers who are doing all they can to help to fight the virus on the frontlines. Rather than growing the darkness in this world by spreading panic and fear, let us be those who spread Christ’s light by loving those around us. This is the time that saints are born – and it can start with you!

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