March 15... 3rd Sunday Lent year A 2020

Right now, we have this stupid virus going around.  It has disrupted us; it has made us worrisome.  There’s a lot of uncertainty going forward.  In this season of Lent, we are always asked to make sacrifices, usually of our own choosing.  But now certain sacrifices have been placed upon us, sacrifices we didn’t ask for.  So now, more than ever, we must enter into this season of Lent, of sacrifice and repentance, drawing ourselves more closely with the suffering and crucified Christ. We must renew our faith and hope and remember the promises and love that is given to us through Jesus Christ.

Do not let this virus disrupt or take away your faith and hope.  Continue to turn to prayer.  Today’s gospel.  There is much that can be said about this gospel of the woman at the well who encounter Jesus.  I want you to focus on this.  The woman came to get water, something that was absolutely necessary.  After encountering Jesus, we’re told that she left the water bucket behind.  Despite water being important, she had found something even greater in Jesus, and had to let others know.  “This man I have encounter, he might be the Christ, the one we’ve have been waiting for.”

Proper nourishment, good health, ease of socialization.  These are all important things we ask for and wish to have.  Yet those things increase or decrease many times in life.  Those who eat and drink get hungry again, those who have health will get sick, those who are with people will have times being alone.  But there is something solid, something that you can maintain under any circumstances.  That is your faith, your faith in Jesus Christ, your ability to turn to him in prayer, a relationship that cannot be taken away if you wish to keep it. 

Use this as an opportunity.  Use this time for extra prayer, for reading of Scripture or spiritual books.  Offer up these sacrifices to God, for your sake or for others.  Don’t think that you have to avoid small private groups.  This would actually be a good time to do so, provided you are not sick and are washing your hands.  Though less contact, tell people to have a blessed day, smile at them.  If you know someone who is alone, give them a call, speak with them.  If you are alone, give someone a call, speak to them.  Don’t let physical isolation turn into spiritual or emotional isolation.  Continue to engage, albeit in a different way.

I don’t know how long this virus will last; I don’t know how bad it will be.  I don’t know how many more disruptions it will cause.  And we have to take practical precautions.  But what I do know is this.  That through Jesus Christ, we have our hope.  Through Jesus Christ, the living water, we have our nourishment and peace.  Through Jesus Christ, and our union with him, we have the promise of life everlasting, a promise that should always give us hope, even in times of trouble.  “we boast in hope of the glory of God.  And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”  I am frustrated at these turns of events, but I will maintain my faith and hope.  It is important for you to do the same.