In today’s Gospel, there is confusion over the identity of Jesus. His prophetic words are perceived to be in conflict with his identity as a Galilean. The Pharisees are unable to recognize that Jesus is Christ because he does not align with the Christ they anticipated.
The evolution of the past few weeks has been beyond what I and many others could have imagined. Uncertainty coupled with the ever-churning newsreel has elicited a range of emotion—isolation, fear, and anxiety. In a sense, Lent has never felt more Lenten.
As I wrestle with my own reactions and uncertainties, I have been continuously heartened by the response of those who have turned outward to be present to and to honor the experience and the resilience of those around them. They are the people who recognize Christ in their midst and remind us that we do not walk alone.
They are educators who speak first of care for their students, before the challenges of digital lesson plans;
Parents who are learning the ins and outs of online schooling alongside their children;
Health care workers who work long hours and risk infection to care for the sick;
Neighbors who offer a wave and warm hello on a daily walk;
Individuals who check in on and run errands for the elderly, immunocompromised, and quarantined;
Those who continue to generously stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable: those experiencing food and housing insecurity; low-wage workers and the unemployed; migrants, refugees, and the displaced.
As we continue to endure the uncertainty of the weeks ahead, may we find hope and comfort in our common humanity and Christ-likeness.
May we recognize that one of the greatest goods we can offer is care for one another.
May we heed the opportunity to be companions to one another as we journey this season together.
Erin Brown is program director for the Ignatian Solidarity Network. She is a graduate of the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota and served in the Peruvian Andes as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Most recently, she was a member of the admissions team at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, WI. While in Milwaukee, she also served as a support person for the local Jesuit Volunteer community.