Thursday, March 19, 2020

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(II Samuel 7:4-5a.12-14a.16; Romans 4:13.16-18.22; Matthew 1:16.18-21.24a)

There is no doubt that precautions are necessary.  No one wants to contract the Corona-19 virus.  But how many secure measures are necessary? We will limit our social contact.  We will keep our hands sanitized and practice not touching our face.  We will take care when going into public places.  But should we not go to work?  Do we have to horde food?  Are we to cancel all our engagements as one commentator suggests?  What does faith teach us about Corona-19?

Of course, Scripture does not say anything about viruses.  It should not be read as a scientific document.  Yet it can help us face the crisis with courage.  In today’s gospel an angel tells Joseph not to be afraid.  He should take Mary, his espoused, into his home because the child she bears was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  That child will save many from their sins.  Joseph overcomes whatever fear and probably disappointment he has.  He takes Mary into his home to facilitate the salvation of the world.

We must show the same courage in face of the Corona-19 threat. By courage we do not mean the will to do something daring but the will to abandon having things our way.  We should cancel or postpone meetings that are not necessary. We should also definitely stay at home if we have the symptoms of the virus except, of course, to see a doctor.  We should also ask God’s mercy on those who are sick and especially for those who have already succumbed to the virus.