Beloved,

In the spirit of keeping in touch with each other during this world-wide disruptiveness of work, school and every aspect of our lives, I wish to direct to your attention that as bad as these disruptions are to the world and especially the economy, it behooves us, as people, to now reflect on our souls and priorities whether in family, in business or in church.

Bottom line, world events, be it war or viruses, take away from us the need to be in control. We know that God, Who created this universe said, “Let there be light” and He said, “It is good.” He holds the whole world in His hands and since we are in this world, He holds us in the palm of His hand.

The Coronavirus asks us not to be withdrawn, but to take a personal inventory of our life and think about what matters. This crisis has made the entire world cooperate with each other for information and finding a vaccine. This is not about Republicans or Democrats or any political party, but about the safety and protection of God’s inhabitants, men, women and children.

For a long time, family has been distanced from each other, husbands and wives at work, children in day-care or at school. It seems the home has become a gathering place to eat and sleep. Today, this disruption calls upon parents to communicate with their children, provide structure and feed them with faith. We are to rejoice in the Lord. “We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

I wish to reflect on the Parable of the Rich Fool, taken from the Gospel of St. Luke 12:16-21 and how this man, like the rest of us, worked, produced and stored his goods without reflecting on his own mortality and eternal life. “It appears to be the most egregious folly imaginable, for men to spend their time and strength in getting and laying up treasure upon earth, in the meantime neglecting or not duly endeavouring, to be rich towards God.”

I do not wish to underestimate the chaos and disruption of your family and the families around the world from the coronavirus. I wish to emphasize that God made us people to pray, in season and out of season, in good times and in bad times, as He assured us that He is with us whether walking through fire or flood or climbing the mountain or passing by the shadow of death. At the end, we belong to Him, Who is the author of life and makes us reach out to each other, to check on each other and to be a good neighbor, even to strangers.

 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6-7)

Even though you are not physically present in church, the church is praying for you and your family for your good health and well-being.

Your Loving Priest,

Fr. George Shalhoub