Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened,
and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28)
Remembering the victims of the Coronavirus:
Pope Francis shares on Jesus’ words, “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28) point to the mysterious path of grace that is revealed to the simple and gives new strength to those who are weary and tired. These words of Christ express the solidarity of the Son of Man with all those who are hurt and afflicted. How many people suffer in both body and soul! Jesus urges everyone to draw near to him – “Come to me!” – and he promises them comfort and repose. “When Jesus says this, he has before him the people he meets every day on the streets of Galilee: very many simple people, the poor, the sick, sinners, those who are marginalized by the burden of the law and the oppressive social system… These people always followed him to hear his word, a word that gave hope! Jesus’ words always give hope!”
Today on World Day of the Sick and the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, it is providential to see in Wuhan, the new hospital opening and receiving all the patients inflicted with the coronavirus in one ambulance after another arriving and welcomed by the staff.
As Columbans, China is very close to our hearts and also Wuhan as there are Columban seeds scattered and sown there since the 1920’s. Now Wuhan is the centre of the universe as it faces the rapid expansion of the new virulent virus, the Coronavirus. On this the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day of the Sick we remember and pray for the people of Wuhan, China and the world at this time, as authorities try to track the speed of it and use every means to prevent the global spread of it.
A Chinese pastor living in Wuhan — the epicenter of the deadly virus outbreak has penned a powerful letter urging the international faith community to pray as the number of confirmed cases rises above 20,000 in the country. “It is readily apparent that we are facing a test of our faith,” the pastor wrote. “The situation is so critical, yet [we are] trusting in the Lord’s promises, that his thoughts toward us are of peace, and not evil (Jeremiah. 29:11), and that he allows for a time of testing, not to destroy us, but to establish us. Therefore, Christians are not only to suffer with the people of this city, but we have a responsibility to pray for those in this city who are fearful, and to bring to them the peace of Christ. When disaster strikes us, it is but a form of God’s love,” he contended. “Spoken for today, Wuhan’s pestilence cannot separate us from the love of Christ; this love is in our Lord Jesus Christ. The pastor urged the international community to “pray for God’s mercy upon this city, and bring peace upon this city through our prayers and testimony.” The pastor concluded his letter by urging readers to “turn their eyes upon Jesus,” adding that “only through the hope of the Lord’s mercy will this city be saved.”
Today let us pray for all victims of coronavirus both in Wuhan and throughout the world that they will be saved from this awful illness and that there will be a cure soon.