We are told several times in Luke’s Gospel that Mary “pondered in her heart” God’s mysterious ways. These days we too have much to ponder as COVID-19 has changes our lives and the lives of so many around the world. Of course, the Lenten challenge is to allow God to change our hearts. On Sunday, President Trump announced that undocumented immigrants could get tested for coronavirus without fear of arrest or deportation. The recent Democratic debate showcased shared concern over how individuals, businesses, and the nation might heal from the effects of the pandemic. On-line and in person, individuals are reaching out, singing good wishes, running errands, offering moral and financial support to those most in need and community institutions. Despite these hopeful signs, there is much to change, including efforts to gain a sense of control by blaming the virus on groups of people or by hoarding groceries. Acknowledging our shared vulnerability, Pope Francis called on Christians to “remain united …. [and to] make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried”.
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