Faith as Our Bedrock
BY JOSIE SCHUMAN | August 10, 2020
In this Sunday’s gospel, we have the opportunity to reflect on our faith. When Jesus asks Peter to walk on the water, Peter becomes fearful, crying out “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately stretches out his hand to catch Peter and responds, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” I have been Peter in so many situations, doubting God’s plan for me and for the world, especially in the midst of this unprecedented global pandemic.
In this time of coronavirus, it can be difficult to have faith in anyone. We are constantly being inundated with information that seems to change every day. What is the most credible or objective source? Nobody, not even the experts, seems to know how to tackle the virus. This sense of distrust and confusion has even trickled down to individual relationships. I find myself being wary and judgmental of other people. “Have they been social distancing? I can’t believe they were willing to take that risk,” I think to myself, as if I know best. Rather than resorting to this divisive judgment, I should turn to compassion, as we are all figuring out how to best navigate this crisis while still living our lives.
As an education major beginning my student teaching year this fall, the doubt and questions continue. Is it safe for students and teachers to return to school in person? Is it safe for students and parents to continue online learning from home? I hear a different opinion from every news article, blog, and conversation.
With this whirlwind of information and still no concrete end to the pandemic in sight, it can be difficult to continue being diligent with COVID-19 restrictions. I often find myself drowning like Peter, losing faith that my efforts against the virus make a difference and that life will ever return to a semblance of normalcy.
However, I must remember that the minor inconveniences of social distancing and wearing a mask are acts of love that not only protect ourselves and our loved ones but those most vulnerable to the virus. This pandemic has further exposed the ways that systemic discrimination plays out in our society with communities of color being disproportionately affected.
It’s difficult to have faith in any particular person or source for guidance during this crazy time, but I can always rely on Jesus—not for a magical cure for COVID-19 but maybe for strength, resilience, and a renewed spirit to remain committed to justice in the midst of my own struggles. Although we may not see immediate results from our individual actions, the fight against coronavirus, like most social justice work, requires a sustained, collective effort. It’s infinitely bigger than myself.
When we feel weary, fearful, or frustrated by this struggle, we can turn to our faith in God. My high school theology teacher once wrote to me, “Faith is a bedrock of sorts, a sense of stability, that one source of consistency for which you can draw your strength and inspiration in the midst of the chaos and busyness of everyday life”— exactly what we need during this time of uncertainty.
Josie Schuman is a former ISN intern and graduate of John Carroll University. She is currently a member of the Urban Catholic Teacher Corp at Boston College, pursuing a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction while teaching 5th grade English. Josie is passionate about faith-based antiracist education and hopes to inspire students of color to use reading and writing as tool for social change.
Social distancing and wearing a mask – are indeed temporary precautions. Such behavior should never be the norm during our brief pilgrimage on God’s Holy Ground.
FOR ME THE MOST IMPORTANT WORDS IN TODAY’S GOSPEL ARE WHEN JESUS USES THE SAME PHRASE AS GOD ON MOUNT SINAI TO MOISES IDENTIFYING HIMSELF> “IT IS ME DO NOT ME AFRAID.”., “EU SUM”
It can’t be that bad if people can form in very large groups from potus rally, racism protests, lockdown protests, huge house party’s and so on. If you watch news from Europe like I do there schools recently opened and at the moment with all the measures in place it looks promising,hopefully here in the US we can be the same.
A virus can’t also discriminate and a government cannot make a virus affect non white people more, everybody was given the same messages on how to stay safe ( it’s a shame others focused on race and spread mis-information to be politically correct ) and maintain measures to protect themselves, friends, famly and public.Whites are good at listening not there fault.
Maybe white people do take the right safety measures while my race and yours are ignorant thinking we will be safe, statistics are correct but that little section was nothing more of you trying to take a swipe at a government that is doing very well comparing to othe countries when it comes to testing, recovery and percentage of death rates, people forget how big we are as a population.
Another thing if students do not feel safe at the schools they are attending and do not think that the school has done enough on prevention speak to someone about it or vent your concerns and request to do work from home until you feel safe on returning to school. They will understand and will work to improve measures in place to keep students safe and get you to return.
Just make the right choices, maintain all safety aspects and you will be good. Stay away from people that you know are not following the correct procedures and it will be ok.