What If God Wants to Save the World Through the Pandemic?

This week I went to a funeral. I never expected a funeral to be my first Mass back after three months of quarantine, but it was fitting.

The first reading was the passage from Ecclesiastes about how there’s a time for everything–a time to be born and a time to die…a time for tearing down and a time for rebuilding. And from there I spent the Mass reflecting on seeing the pandemic in light of tearing down for the sake of rebuilding.

I was really struck when we got to the Lamb of God prayer. “Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world…grant us peace.”

God created people to live with Him. So after the fall, Jesus’ entire purpose in coming to this earth was to save us from our sins. He has our glorious good as His highest intention. Even to the point that He had to die for it–that He had to be broken for it. Sometimes saving the world means that something has to break before the saving can happen. Even the great flood was a step in God saving the world–He had to wipe out all that was evil in order to save what is good.

Let’s face it. The world is a complete mess in a lot of ways, and even the Church has so much lukewarmness in it. And now, on top of it all, we haven’t been able even to do the most basic Christian practices–go to church–and many churches are struggling financially as a result. The pandemic, I am sure, is not a punishment, and what I am about to say is not to say that I think God caused it. But it very well may be what the Holy Spirit is using in that essential time of tearing down so that He can rebuild.

Which makes it so exciting! That I should live to see this era? Not a story in which catastrophe is the plot, but only part of the story that leads to something glorious–a mind-blowing experience of the Holy Spirit transforming the world in a huge way, on a Bible story miracle scale. Because it’s when things are obviously desperate that something good happening is that much more striking.

And He wants to use me, somehow. He wants to use all of us. We must be praying that He will use us, that we will be aligned with Him and available to Him, that we will be bold.

Come, Holy Spirit.