BY FATHER PAUL KELLY - ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH
It started as some strange new virus coming out of central China. Soon it spread to neighboring countries like Japan and Korea. Next we heard it had spread to Italy and a few other European countries. Before long it had touched the borders of the United States, first in Washington state and then New York. Finally, it reached our own state, and within a week we were having closures of schools, churches, libraries, restaurants, gyms, and shops.
We were getting used to practicing social distancing and washing our hands frequently and staying home as much as possible.
No other event in my lifetime has caused such disruption of so many lives in such a short period of time as coronavirus. World War II couldn't do it. Neither could the turbulent '60s. Nor the periodic economic recessions of '87 and '08 — not even 9-11.
Who would have thought that a microscopic organism could wreak such havoc on the world?
In the midst of this uncertain and disruptive time, most Christians around the world celebrated Easter last Sunday (Orthodox Easter is April 19). With so much uncertainty, doubt, and fear swirling around us, how beautiful to be reassured that Jesus is still Lord.
He is still the Risen Savior. He is still for the Christian the one who commands our hearts and the one in whom we put our trust. He who underwent the passion of the cross, the betrayal of friends, and death by crucifixion will guide us through these difficult times.
Those who are children now will one day tell their grandchildren about the spring of 2020, just like old timers of the past spoke of the crash of '29 or the summer of '36. They will tell of how Holy Week and Easter were celebrated in family homes and not in churches and of how people looked after each other in a time of separation.
Hopefully the message will also communicate to future generations that in spite of anything the world can throw at us — war, pestilence, economic collapse — Jesus is still the Risen Lord of all.