In these days, anguished humanity is experiencing one of the greatest tragedies in history because of a virus, which has caused a pandemic that has already left thousands of people dead and thousands upon thousands of people infected throughout the world, unleashing a dramatic spiral that seems to be leading to the collapse of humanity. At times it’s giving the impression of being unstoppable.
Are humanity’s faults so great as to deserve this? Isn’t this plague a sign of divine anger against all of the evil that has been accumulating throughout history?
Jesus teaches us, as he did with the man born blind, that coronavirus disease is not a divine punishment; humanity’s sins have nothing to do with the pandemic we’re experiencing. Jesus says that it’s so that “the works of God might be made manifest in him” (Jn 9:3), thereby inviting us to be more aware of what may arise from this tragedy, of what God will bring to birth after this painful storm.
Jesus teaches us that #coronavirus disease is not a divine punishment and humanity’s sins have nothing to do with the pandemic. (Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.) #LentTweet
It’s true that God seems to be hidden in the pain, but in reality, he’s present, always working mysteriously for our good, even now.
What will be born from all this human experience of vulnerability and pain, what will change in humanity after experiencing that only sacrifice and solidarity can help us to survive, what is the Lord mysteriously preparing within this hard moment we’re going through when we realize that the most precious asset is life and that life is so fragile?
In the difficult moment that humanity is experiencing, we too have to walk with serenity like the blind man in the Gospel of John (9:1-41); we have to face uncertainty without losing our inner peace; and, we must make the sacrifices that this emergency requires of us, even if there are no immediate results. In these dramatic moments, this is the approach that the path of faith is taking today.
We have to follow the challenging pathway of faith so that the works of God may be revealed. (Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.) #Lent #coronavirusTweet
The blind man’s perseverance, walking in the midst of conflict and incomprehensible hostility, teaches us that we recover our sight to the extent that we recognize that we don’t see everything clearly, that we don’t understand everything completely, but we trust in Jesus and resist with the light of faith and the strength of his love.
When we feel tired, anxious, and afraid that this long night won’t end, let’s recognize with serenity that we don’t see clearly—that darkness surrounds us. Jesus came “that those who do not see may see” (Jn 9:39). He wants to sharpen our interior gaze, to cure our blindness, and to give us his light so that we may see more deeply.
During this Lent, we must take time to be silent and pray, to listen to the Word of God, and to pray as a family. It’s time to prostrate ourselves before the Lord and adore him. God may seem to be absent, but right there where he doesn’t even seem to be, he is consoling us and giving us strength, marvelously weaving a plan of life for all of humanity.
God is a good Father who neither punishes nor abandons us. (Bishop Silvio José Báez, OCD) #Lent #COVID19Tweet
We human beings are vulnerable and fragile, but God fights with us to care for life through our responsibility, the sacrifice of so many doctors and nurses, government efforts, and scientific research.
God consoles us in our helplessness and pain and gives us the strength of his love so that through everyone’s solidarity and sacrifice we can save ourselves. God is with us— and through Jesus, the light of the world, he sustains us in our littleness and gives us the capacity to see in the darkness, beyond all blindness.
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Lent (excerpts)
22 March 2020