When the doors were locked, where the disciples were … Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” [John 20:19]
Are we feeling any sense of peace right now as we continue to battle the coronavirus? The loss of life and livelihood breaks the heart and tears up hope. How can faith in the Lord help us face our lives and our future while we remain behind closed doors?
What is happening in our midst presents us with a clear choice. Our Lord gives us the Easter season—a time for renewing our faith as God pours forth His loving mercy—while temptations that can lead to despair are bearing down. We can put ourselves into God’s hands or face those temptations alone.
Recently, I came across this quote from the Bible: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed…Nothing will be impossible for you” [Matthew 17:20]. Right now, my faith feels as tiny as a mustard seed. However, that faith protects me from total despair as I deal with bouts of helplessness and frustration.
With or Without Faith
Whether we have faith or not, we still have burdens to bear. One could argue that having faith in God does not pay the bills, nor does it make us immune to pain and suffering. There are also plenty of temporal ways to keep ourselves distracted until our lives open up again; like all worldly resources, those ways have their limitations.
However, with faith, we have access to Heaven’s infinite supply of kindness, compassion, patience, perseverance, generosity, gentleness, and mercy; all of which we can share with one another, even from a distance. God’s loving and healing graces are always available to us no matter how much of our lives have been shut down. The limitations we face are the ones we place on ourselves by not trusting our Lord. Without faith, we shut ourselves off from the fullness of God’s love, making it that much harder to stop the spread of despair as we try to stop the spread of the virus.
The Easter Season spans 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. With the help of prayer and reading the Scriptures, we can keep Christ in our midst as we face our trials during this period of time. Like the first disciples, we have this opportunity to allow Christ—God’s love made manifest—to come alive within us by way of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is God’s gift of love that awakens our faith and with faith, God’s love protects us from despair. Like the disciples, we also are given strength to help and pray for those who face greater trials than our own. Remember, as the disciples were behind closed doors prayerfully awaiting the Holy Spirit to come upon them, Mary the Mother of God was by their side.
With the help of Mary’s intercession, in unity with the Holy Spirit, may our faith grow so that we can emerge with renewed hope and greater love for God and one another, and may the peace of Christ our Savior be with us all. Amen.