Michelangelo’s Pieta, one of the artist’s most familiar and moving works, depicts Mary holding the broken body of Christ. Although we are still pilgriming through Lent, that image is particularly apt as we remember the anniversary of the pandemic declaration and the loss we have endured. As Mother of the Church, Mary continues to hold close the body of Christ. In other words, she continues to hold us close, to gather all of us and our sorrows into her care and prayers, for, Saint Paul taught, we are the body of Christ.

In his recent address to the nation, President Biden noted the shared sorrows of the last year. He also mentioned asking a woman from Pennsylvania what she needed to go forward. The woman said she wanted someone to tell the truth and President Biden pledged to do just that. The numbers of the dead, the struggles of those recovering from the illness, the economic crises, violence and prejudice, particularly against Asian Americans, were among the hard truths the president named along with the need for Americans to unite in our move toward recovery. May we act as we are – one in Christ.