In these dark days, we would do well to acknowledge our fears, but we must never be ruled by them.
A reading from the Book of Covidicus: In the beginning was the Virus …
No, that’s not right… How about this?
In the first year of the reign of His Imperial Majesty, Coronavirus Augustus, the 19th …
No, that’s not right either.
Let’s try again:
At once I was in the spirit, and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne! And the one seated there looks like jasper and carnelian, and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald…. Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder…, Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures… Day and night without ceasing they sing,“Holy, holy, holy,the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing,“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power,for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4)
That sounds better, doesn’t it? In times of crisis, it’s good to know who’s in charge. It’s even better to know that the one in charge has a plan. And it’s best of all to know that the one in charge and with a plan is trustworthy.
In our present time of panic, uncertainty and despair, it is important to recall that no virus rules the world, no government has a perfect plan, and that every person, no matter how apparently powerful, is imperfect. That recognition, rather than leading us to desperation, should cause us to breathe a sigh of relief. I say that because when we refuse to put absolute trust in any earthly power, then we are free to put absolute trust in the only one who is absolutely trustworthy—and that is Christ the King.
Remember, it is Christ the King, the Second Person of the Trinity, the only-begotten Son of God who is son of Mary, who said: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” (John 14:1) He also said: “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades.” (Revelation 1:17-18)
In other words, Jesus Christ cannot be overpowered by any virus, any state, or any individual. He is sovereign over all of creation, and we the baptized have the privilege, right, and duty to acknowledge him as king. He is triumphant; he is faithful; he is provident.
Therefore, in these dark and confusing times, let’s get emotionally sober and rationally rigorous. Let’s recall, as the saints have done throughout the ages, that we are to fear sin more than death. Let’s recall, as the Church has proclaimed from the beginning, that only Christ is to be worshiped, and we are to worship as he prescribes. And let’s recall the good example of countless generations of Christians, who have shown that in every circumstance we can find a way to serve our neighbor for the love of God.
Soon, we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension, an enduring reminder that human flesh is now forever in the presence of the divine. Those who remain faithful to the end can look forward to resurrection and to glory. And, soon, we will celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost—a vivid reminder that Divine Providence blesses us with a holy fire so that we might do on earth the work that will lead souls to Heaven.
In these dark days, we would do well to acknowledge our fears, but we must never be ruled by them. Like Heaven itself, the throne in our hearts is meant for one person and one person only—Christ the King.
When I write next, I will offer another meditation for the Easter season. Until then, let’s keep each other in prayer.