In our Gospel this weekend, Jesus tells us to “fear no one.” Reading this, I immediately thought about our current situation and how we interact with people during the Covid-19 pandemic. Would Jesus use those words today? How would he interpret people crossing the street to avoid passing within six feet of each other? How would he feel about the person who disregards all social distancing practices designed to contain the virus and keep each other safe?
It is true that we cannot control the actions of other people, only our own. By our Baptism we are called to spread the Gospel message to everyone. This starts with an attitude of love. As people of faith we are driven by the Word to love our enemies and those that persecute us. In these challenging times, we are being reminded to “fear no one.” I believe Jesus’ words reaffirms our commitment to personal safety and to loving our neighbor. It is easy to give into the temptation of fearing others or to judge someone else as a danger to oneself, especially as we protect ourselves from exposure to this virus. However, as Christians we are called uniquely to humble ourselves and to respect the dignity of every person. We must be committed to the safety and respect of everyone. Through this commitment we witness respect and compassion. By continuing to practice personal responsibility to social guidelines, we promote unity not fear.
As I mentioned in previous newsletters, opening the church for public Masses is a work in progress. Many people have mentioned some practices that other parishes are implementing. As soon as possible, we will make cleaning stations available around the church. These will include Lysol based cleaning spray bottles and disposable towels which you may use to sanitize your pew to your comfort level. With so many different interpretations on cleaning practices, I will leave it to each of you to discern what degree of cleanliness is best for you to feel safe and comfortable while in the Church.
We live in incredibly unique times. As Christians, we are called to love with respect and compassion. May our prayer and witness to Jesus guide our actions toward others without fear.
Peace of Christ!!