We are living through unprecedented times; so many of us are feeling anxious and fearful of how the coronavirus is going to further affect our communities, our friends and families.
The threat of the virus is bringing out the best and the worst in many of us. Offers of help – getting shopping, picking up prescriptions, &c. abound. It has also produced in some people an astounding selfishness – carelessness of other people’s needs by unnecessary stockpiling being an obvious example.
Many people to a lesser or greater degree are ‘self isolating’, yet one detects a renewed sense of community – that we are all in this together.
Throughout the season of Lent, we think of Christ spending His forty days in the wilderness. His wilderness was not essentially comprised of inhospitable terrain and scorching heat. In Christ’s true wilderness he suffered the doubts and torments as to who he was, and what was to be his role as Son of God – the beloved of the Father.
As we approach Easter, we think of Christ suffering anguish of spirit in the Garden of Gethsemane. In Christ’s suffering and fear, we see just how radical the Incarnation is – God becoming a human being in Christ our brother.
The pilgrim beams of Divine Love shine forth from the heart of God, through Bethlehem, the wilderness, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Cross of Calvary, to the Garden of the Resurrection.
God is our Father, but we learn in Christ that He is our brother also sharing our difficulties, weakness and fears.
At the end of Christ’s turmoil in the wilderness, love was triumphant (as it ever is with Christ). His Faith and his purpose became clear. We are told in the gospel that at the end of his temptations – ’angels came to minister to Him.’
In our present wilderness may faith in God – tested and deepened, bring us, as it did for Him – the help of angels.