Which way to go, what path to follow?
Our ancestors, even the Lord, when he searched for the path to take when he sought to discern the will of his Father, he searched the Scriptures. Specifically, an event that is overwhelmingly essential is the Exodus and the person of Moses. Simply to bring to mind the Paschal Meal, the last supper of the Lord, it was a meal celebrated in the midst of the commemoration of the exodus event, the departure from Egypt.
Our present situation, living through a pandemic, an illness that has been so terrible, an illness that has taken the lives of millions of persons worldwide, is obviously an illness that has stolen liberty and future. With the help of scientists, health services, and the leadership of many, there is hope. But, are we really moving past the pandemic, or are we getting stuck?
Vaccines have helped immensely, but there is a sense that much more is needed. In the first place, there are so many places throughout the world where pain and suffering are abominable. There are places where the very word “coronavirus”, is forbidden because it goes against the official stance of the government, “here, in this country, that illness does not exist”. Similarly, there are places where no vaccines have arrived, and/or, the vaccines that are available are useless. Making matters worse, the crisis has provoked an increase in conflicts, more famine, and more inhumanity. In passing, there seems to be little to do with persons who are adamant against the vaccine.
Our circumstance is similar to the experience of the Hebrews in Egypt. It took a long time for them to be released from slavery. Even if you consider it a symbolic date, it is said that the Hebrews were under the dominion of Egypt for 430 years. Now, we need to understand that God did not wait until the last minute to set his people free. The burning bush that transformed Moses into the right hand of God had to have been burning all of those years until at long last, a shepherd dared to lift his eyes and recognize the face of destiny.
We also need to raise our eyes and recognize the burning bush of God’s presence. There, God pronounced his sovereignty. God said to Moses, “I am who am”. God speaks to us as well. Not Egypt, and not the pandemic is greater than the mercy and kindness of God. The mercy and kindness of God denounce all slavery, death, hunger, pandemic, and inhumanity. This truth has to send us forth as advocates, especially for brothers and sisters in need-worldwide, as long as one of us is enslaved, none of us is free. This mercy and kindness of God creates a special community, a community that has God as the source of its very being. This is a community that dares to detach itself from both, a misguided sense of superiority and of victimhood. This community, called into being by God, is to be heroic in its efforts to humanize the world.
Are we on our way out of the pandemic or are we stuck? God does not want us to be stuck, God wants the vaccine, life, liberty. The delight of God is his children fully alive. As our good bishop Barnes would say, “Siempre Adelante”.
Father Francisco Gómez, S.T.