Christ is King: Even during COVID
If Christ is king, why so much darkness? Why disease? Why government orders that seem to defy common sense? Whatever it is that is making you anxious, take heart. Be not afraid. Christ is King. But we must not forget that he first reigned from the Cross.
Are you afraid of covid? Be not afraid. The numbers are going up but most healthy people quickly recover with no lasting damage. Yes, there are exceptions. And yes older people are at greater risk. But even for the majority older people, covid is far from a death sentence. Yes, covid can be a nasty disease, but it is not Ebola or the Black Death. So be not afraid. Ultimately, all of us have to die. It is as though the world had forgotten this basic fact of our existence and now has rediscovered mortality through covid. But there is a cure of mortality: Christ’s death and resurrection.
Are you afraid of the government responses? Be not afraid. Yes, these seem terrifying, especially so since the disease is mild for the great majority of people. Why do the authorities not address basic questions about the collateral damage of the lockdowns? Other diseases — such as cancer — are not being diagnosed. People’s mental health is suffering. There is family violence. The young who should be in colleges and universities or getting their first job are at high risk of suicide. Entire sectors of the economy have been shut down. We have unprecedented government debt that will take generations to pay off. The world bank estimates that 120 million people will fall below the extreme poverty line this year. We may not see them here on the streets, but just think of the people in countries whose main source of income is tourism. And all that the government does is speak of how precious each human life is. But they clearly do not believe it, because abortion remains an essential service and the federal government is pushing through a bill to widen access to euthanasia. And amidst all this, the efforts to normalize the ravages of the sexual revolution continue apace. This is indeed scary. But be not afraid! Christus vincit. Christ conquers.
This lockdown can perhaps make us appreciate the Mass more. And we can learn to understand better the plight of Christians throughout the world in places that are even more hostile to our faith than is our society. Millions of Catholics in the Middle East, in Pakistan, in North Korea, and China and in many other places live in fear of their lives and with infrequent access to the Sacraments. We can pray for them. And we can take our inspiration from them.
“Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” I do not mean to prophesy that the second coming is going to happen during this crisis or soon afterwards in the common acceptance of the word “soon”. These words have already been fulfilled many times in various times of turmoil, in which many Christians became Saints. We do not need to know the time of the second coming. What we need is to work out our salvation in the present time. We need to become Saints now. If we are in the state of mortal sin we need to go to confession now — this sacrament is still available. We need to start praying more regularly now. We need to practice patience and charity now with people who are perhaps more anxious and difficult than usual. And we can do this calmly and serenely and even with joyful hope, because we know that Christ is king. He has conquered. And He will conquer all evil.
By Fr Martin, Cong. Orat.