Facing the Coronavirus with Hope

Facing the Coronavirus with Hope
By Bishop George Murry, S. J.
Originally published in the Catholic Exponent on March 18th, 2020

 

The coronavirus is a constantly evolving medical health issue in our society. According to medical authorities, the virus has the potential to affect a dramatic number of our people, especially those who are over 60 or who have other pre-existing health conditions. As citizens, we must act responsibly to combat the virus: Stay home except for work, necessary shopping or emergencies; wash your hands frequently; and avoid close contact with others As Catholic Christians, we must approach this problem with the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. And here, I especially want to focus on hope.

When we think of hope, we usually mean a feeling or expectation that something will happen, such as “I hope I win the lottery.” Theological hope, however, is much, much more. Theological hope is a virtue. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this: Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”  (Hebrews 10: 23) “The Holy Spirit . . . he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.”  (Titus 3: 6-7)

In the midst of our fears and doubts, we can and should still trust in the promise of Christ that He will never abandon us to the power of evil. Use the time at home to read the Scriptures, pray the rosary, watch the Mass on television and learn about the lives of the saints. Use this time to grow closer to the One whose love for us is everlasting, the One who gives us life.

Please be careful to check-in on those you know who are elderly, sick or poor. Help them as best you can and pray for an end to this pandemic.

You will be remembered in each one of my Masses and prayers during this difficult time because when all is said and done, “Our help is in the name of the Lord.”

 

 

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