People are understandably anxious and stressed out over the covid19 pandemic. People are getting sick, store shelves are empty, and many of us (myself included) are on lockdown in our homes. Besides their health, many people are worried about their jobs and finances as the world economy has tanked. In these times, it’s natural to ask, “Where’s God and why doesn’t He do something?”
In these times of uncertainty, I choose to meditate on the Fifth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary, Jesus’ Crucifixion. Instead of seeing Jesus as someone detached and unconcerned with the world’s suffering, I see Him as someone suffering along with us. Although He was God made man and sinless, Jesus suffered and died on the Cross. He died in the same way as the two criminals next to Him.
Jesus remains among us through our suffering today. The question to meditate on when we pray the Fifth Sorrowful Mystery is whether we choose to see Him in our lives or not. So many people at the crucifixion refused to see Jesus as the Son of God unless He performed some sort of miracle. Similarly, many people today might not see Jesus in their lives unless He performs a miracle like making this pandemic magically disappear.
But then there’s the other group that knows that Jesus is here with us even in the absence of signs and miracles. The good criminal on the cross saw that Jesus was the Son of God suffering alongside him. He used that opportunity to ask Jesus simply to remember him. And we can use this opportunity of being locked down, quarantined, sheltered in place, etc. to acknowledge that Jesus is with us through the turmoil. We can turn to Him in prayer and ask Him to remember us. Because Jesus isn’t a distant, uncaring deity. He’s here with us and ready to comfort us if we just ask.
In this time when many of us are cooped up in our homes, let’s take the time to pray more than usual. It is still Lent after all. Pray hard so that you may see that Jesus is present in this world. He understands us because He’s with us. Pray and meditate on that when you’re feeling anxious.